Friday, October 9, 2009

Latino Market Numbers Amaze

So the problem with an event-filled month like Hispanic Heritage Month is that I get behind in posts and .. filing. I'm working on both now.

Speaking of this month of events, did you know that an estimated 90,000 Latinos turned out for our area's biggest event of the year: Fiestas Patrias at the Puyallup Fair. That's double the Latino attendance last year. It just keeps growing. A reflection of the growing overall Hispanic presence here in the Puget Sound region.

Last week I attended a great workshop hosted by the City of Federal Way. And this is my opportunity to say "Bravo" to Federal Way, because this City has its own Hispanic Liaison--Teniel Sabin--who is a very approachable young lady who is helping Federal Way officials effectively reach out to its Latino residents and make services and opportunities known. Very cool!

Anyway, this workshop was entitled, "Business Development in the Hispanic Market." I expected a lot of companies to show up, looking for ways to better link to Latinos locally. There were some, yes, but there were also a fair number of Hispanics--established business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, others in transition. That surprised me, but I thought that was cool that they were showing up for a government workshop, which by the way, was partially presented bilingually.

Before the presentation attendees were encouraged to check out several displays of some of the services available, including those of Washington CASH and others.

Idalie Muñoz was the speaker. She worked for the U.S. Census in a past life--so she loves numbers. Idalie covered a lot of data, most of which I was very familiar with but will repeat here nonetheless for those of you just tuning in:
  • There are about 46 million Latinos in the U.S. That's about 15% of our total population. In fact, in the entire world, the only country with more Hispanics is Mexico.
  • Washington is one of 16 states that has at least a half-million Hispanic residents.
  • Washington is one of 20 states wherein Hispanics are the largest minority.
Check this out--overall, buying power (personal income for spending) is growing by leaps and bounds in the Hispanic segment, especially when you compare it to the non-Hispanic population. In Washington, while the non-Hispanic population saw 265.9% growth in buying power, Hispanics experienced 788.1% growth!

Between 1990-2008, the Hispanic segment saw a great advantage nationally as well.
  • Hispanics: 348.9%
  • Non-Hispanics: 140.75%
And watch the growth that is expected to take place when we elongate that time period to 1990-2013!
  • Hispanics: 554.3%
  • Non-Hispanics 211.1%
The main message here is: In this shrinking economy, the Hispanic market is growing. And so is its pocketbook!

National numbers from the U.S. Census show unbelievable Hispanic buying power growth:
1990 - $12 billion
2000 - $450 billion
2008 - $951 billion
>>and forecast for 2013? $1.4 TRILLION.

What are some of the factors in this growth? It's the fastest-growing segment, there's a higher level of education attained now versus in the past, this segment boast a larger young population entering the job market, and a fast-growing number of Hispanic-owned businesses were cited by Idalie.

In addition to U.S. Census numbers, she also referenced The Multicultural Economy 2008, from the Selig Center for Economic Growth, University of Georgia. It's an amazing reference for anyone interested in an in-depth look at some more current numbers.

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