By PAUL WENSKE | The Kansas City Star
Population surge means more buyers and entrepreneurs
Hispanic households will be an economic force in the nation over the next 10 years, The Conference Board reports in a new study.
A key reason for this growing clout is that the number of Hispanic households is expected to increase at a faster pace than that of any other U.S. group, “continuing a demographic explosion that began several years ago,” the report concludes.
Cici Rojas, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, said the report recognizes the emerging benefits to businesses who court Hispanic consumers.
“We are seeing the ramifications of the economic empowerment for our community,” she said. “The companies that court the Hispanic community will benefit the most.
“They will realize the members of this community are very loyal. Once they develop a trust in a product, it’s hard to move them away from that service.”
She said that at the same time, the Hispanic community is nurturing new entrepreneurs who add diversity to the U.S. economy.
The Conference Board is well known for tracking consumer confidence and publishing the Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
According to the report, today’s 10 million-plus Hispanic households will soar to 13.5 million by 2010, up from less than 6 million households in 1990.
Hispanic households are predicted to control $670 billion in personal income six years from now, with Mexican-American households accounting for $409 billion of this total.
“As the Hispanic market keeps growing both in size and buying power, companies in a wide variety of industries will enjoy significant marketing opportunities,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s consumer research center.
But since this young, burgeoning market is extremely diverse, marketers should be aware of extensive demographic and economic differences among the Hispanic household population, she said.
The Mexican community, with 6.5 million households, is by far the largest Hispanic group, she said.
More than 55 percent of these households include children under 18, and more than two-thirds of householders are under 45.
By 2010, this one group is expected to top 8.5 million households, with nearly 62 percent of all households headed by someone under 45.