NEW YORK: Affluent Latin Americans are not only very social and highly digital, they are also keen shoppers with an international outlook, according to a new survey.

The Affluent Survey Latin America, conducted among the wealthiest 15% of the population in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, is the latest in a series of reports from research agency Ipsos MediaCT and highlights the significant reach that digital media has achieved in the region.

It found that penetration of smartphones and tablets was very high, at 81% and 46% respectively. In addition some 41% of the region's affluent population owned all three of the main digital devices of tablet, smartphone and PC/laptop.

Apple was the leading brand for these consumers, with the iPhone accounting for 35% of smartphones and the iPad for over half of tablets.

The report noted that while penetration of most media devices was higher in Latin America than Europe, the exception was e-book readers. It posited that the reason just 7% owned one of these devices was because of high ownership levels of the iPad.

The region's population is already known to be among the world's heaviest users of social media in the world and the affluent among them proved no different, with 94% of respondents having visited a social networking site in the preceding month.

They were using these networks for both work and business – 51% always used their social network to achieve business goals. Among all the social networking sites measured, Facebook was by far the most used site, followed by Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

But they were not neglecting traditional platforms as affluent consumers still spent almost an hour reading printed newspapers and magazines daily and more than two hours watching television.

More than three quarters of affluent Latin Americans regarded themselves as "global citizens", with 55% speaking at least two languages. Further, 85% watched international TV channels and almost half (44%) read international newspapers and magazines.

And they also enjoyed spending their money. Most (78%) did not mind paying for extra quality, while 72% got a sense of fun from shopping.

The survey also noted how they enjoyed fine dining and travel. On average the affluent in Latin America had paid five visits to a gastronomic restaurant in the preceding 12 months, while 6% had travelled first class and another 15% had travelled business class.

Data sourced from Ipsos; additional content by Warc staff