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Growing Hispanic influence in USA

News, 25 August 2016

NEW YORK: US Hispanics are going to hold even more influence than they currently do on the political, cultural and economic life of America, according to a new study of this key demographic.

Research firm Nielsen took an in-depth look into the diverse characteristics and preferences of the US Hispanic population for its report "From the Ballot Box to the Grocery Store: A 2016 Perspective on Growing Hispanic Influence in America".

While many of the findings, such as voting intentions and evolving political identities, will be crucial for political parties, Nielsen emphasised that its findings are also highly relevant for marketers and media groups.

"Due to the size and increasing influence, marketers, media and political groups must appeal to Hispanics and actively engage this segment," said Mónica Gil, SVP and General Manager of Multicultural Growth and Strategy at Nielsen.

"There is no 'one size fits all' solution to reach all Hispanics; a multipronged approach is required. We are diverse, we speak two languages and we are paying attention."

Hispanics in the US had purchase power of $1.3tr in 2015 – more than the GDP of Australia or Spain – and Nielsen calculated that represented an increase of 167% since 2000, or more than double the 76% growth in total US non-Hispanic buying power over the same period.

Hispanics are also expected to be the drivers of population growth over the coming decades. Currently numbered at 57m strong, they account for 18% of the total US population, but it is expected there will be 119m US Hispanics/Latinos by 2060.

The report also noted significant changes underway when it comes to language and bilingualism – an issue of particular importance for marketers and other communicators.

Nielsen said that due to the increase in US-born Hispanics and a decrease in new immigration, younger generations of Hispanics/Latinos are predominately bilingual and increasingly English-dominant.

Spanish is the dominant language for 35% of US Hispanics aged 55 and older, but it is just 4% for those aged under 18 and the percentage is only marginally higher at 14% among those aged 18 to 34.

Some 58% of both these age groups are bilingual, leading Nielsen to advise that "advertising in both English and Spanish is important to reach younger Hispanics/Latinos".

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff