Experian Takes the Pulse of Hispanics in the United States

Hispanic Market Report from ExperianIt’s no secret that the share of the American population identifying itself as Hispanic or Latino is growing.

The latest evidence of this is a report just released by Experian Marketing Services. It shows that ~16% of Americans age 6 and older fall into this category.

That’s an increase of two percentage points in just six years.

But here’s an even more eyebrow-raising statistic: Among Americans aged 6 to 34, nearly one in four are Hispanic or Latino.

What this means is that the geographic zones of the country usually associated with Hispanic population – California and the Southwest, Central and South Florida, Chicagoland, and New York City/Northern New Jersey – will surely expand to encompass other geographic clusters as well.

Experian’s research also shows that Hispanic households account for approximately 10% of all discretionary spending in the U.S.

But in select metropolitan areas, the share of spending by Hispanic households is greater — sometimes substantially so:

  • San Antonio Metro Area: ~60% Hispanic share of all HH discretionary spending
  • Miami: ~37%
  • Los Angeles: ~33%
  • Houston: ~17%
  • San Francisco: ~14%
  • Chicago: ~12%
  • New York: ~12%
  • Dallas: ~11%

While the country now has many second- and third-generation Hispanic individuals and families, the Experian research finds that even with these consumers, emotional ties to the Spanish language carry over to companies that advertise their brands in Spanish.

Not surprisingly, more than half of Spanish-dominant Hispanics agreed that when they hear a company advertise in Spanish, “it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.”

But among English-dominant Hispanics, ~30% feel the same way as well. And similar percentages feel a much greater sense of loyalty to such companies.

There’s another interesting takeaway from the Experian research, too. Hispanic consumers tend to be more optimistic about their personal financial situation – and that of America as a whole – than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

This sense of greater optimism has been a common thread among all Experian surveys of this type, where the research has shown a persistent positive margin with Hispanics of about five index points over the rest of the survey sample.

That level of optimism is refreshing to see!

U.S. Life Expectancy Favors Hispanics Most of All

Hispanic life expectancyThis past week, the U.S. government, Department of Health & Human Services (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) released the latest statistics on life expectancy for different groups of people. Notable among the reporting is that U.S. Hispanics outlive other population groups – whites by ~2.5 years and blacks by nearly 8 years.

The reasons aren’t entirely clear to the experts, but possible explanations are factors related to migration, lifestyle and culture. After all, ~40% of Hispanics are immigrants.

Dr. J. Mario Molina, a physician who works with low-income Hispanic patients in the Los Angeles area, offers one possible explanation: “Many Hispanics are poor and not well educated, but they typically eat home-cooked food and do physical labor.”

As far back as 1986, Kyriakos Markides, a University of Texas professor, came up with the term “Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox” to describe the low mortality rates and better health outcomes seen among the Hispanic population in the Southwestern U.S. “It seems so paradoxical that a population so disadvantaged could live so long and be relatively healthy,” he was quoted as saying at the time.

So far, so good. But unfortunately, Hispanics may not find their edge in life expectancy continuing into the next generation. How do we know this? It turns out that U.S.-born Hispanics have worse health outcomes compared to their foreign-born compatriots — including higher incidences of things like obesity, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism and drug dependency.

Beyond the fact that it sounds like America is the land of the “seven deadly sins,” Dr. Molina puts it this way: “As people become acculturated, they adopt American ways. They become more sedentary and eat fast food. You look more American the longer your family has been here.” Not the best prognosis, that’s for sure.

Salad, anyone?