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The Latino Shift

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Amplify’d from www.clickz.com

The Latino Shift

  • Now we are counting: the information for 32 states has already been released, representing 68.2 percent of the overall population. #shift
  • A confirmed trend: Hispanics contributed 59 percent of the overall population growth in 32 states. #shift
  • The Hispanic population in 24 out of 32 states currently released has increased by over 50 percent between 2000 and 2020. #shift
  • Hispanic population under 35 years old grew 51.5 percent in the last two decades versus a 7.3 percent growth for non-Hispanic whites. #shift
  • Forever young? While most of Latinos (61.8 percent) are still under 35 years old, the number has reduced significantly (68.7 percent in 1990). #shift
  • Arizona, Texas, and California are among the states with the smallest change in Hispanic population; however, Hispanics make up 30 percent or more of their total populations. #shift
  • Of the states that have been released, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland, Mississippi, and South Dakota all have Hispanic growth above 100 percent. #shift

This new demographic landscape will certainly impact both “aficionados” and newcomers in terms of how they allocate marketing dollars and the role that Latinos play in their overall strategy. But in order to succeed, marketers need to go beyond the usual marketing variables; they need to understand the whole social environment and its impact on Hispanics and vice versa.

Latino Social Dynamics

1. Education: Help me help you. One of the biggest challenges comes in the education arena. Many kids start kindergarten without knowing how to speak English, and teachers don’t know how to communicate with them. Once the barrier is broken and kids become more proficient, a new issue arises; parents that are not as proficient in the English language can’t help their kids with their homework.

2. Social Security: The two sides of the coin. With the Hispanic population growing at a rate that exceeds projections, and with over 60 percent of Latinos under the age of 35, there is no doubt that Hispanics are making significant contributions to the Social Security fund. This has been the side of the coin that most of the media has been focusing on.

3. Politics: The power shift. While the population grew almost 9.7 over the last 10 years, the number of seats in the House of Representatives will stay the same at 435. Yet, when you look at it from a state-by-state basis, the picture is completely different. Take, for example, the changing demographics of the southwest: there are more Latino voters and fewer white voters. Latinos tend to lean more on the Democrat side. How will this trend impact politics moving forward?

Location, location, location. While Latino presence continues to expand both in traditional and non-traditional Hispanic DMAs, retailers need to constantly adapt. Latinos are not one-stop shoppers; they love to shop and they are not as price sensitive in certain channels. This is more obvious in the CPG category where they spend 14 percent more than the general population, especially on food.

5. Urbanism: The new good neighbor. As the U.S. population and the country’s infrastructure evolve, urban planners are facing new challenges. Urban planners are ahead of the trend in understanding the key role Hispanics are playing: using them in pilot programs to test new urban models. “Latino New Urbanism” is an approach to urban planning that might include small lots, houses located close to main roads, front porches, compact neighborhoods, and public spaces. Pioneered by James Rojas, the notion of “Latino New Urbanism” is a way of understanding community, public spaces, and neighborhoods, taking into consideration the preferences and culture of Latino immigrants.

Implications for Marketers

  • Companies can play a more active role in urban planning and engage Latino communities at an early stage. #shift.
  • Bilingualism is a great opportunity! Brands can leverage it by engaging with schools and the educational community. #shift.
  • Latinos are becoming a key target to define the future of elections. How can brands benefit from this #shift in politics?
  • Demographic #shift? Retailers need to rethink their approach and offerings to succeed in this demographic landscape.

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