For years demographers have been talking about the exponential growth of the Hispanic population in the United States, but new estimates released last month by the Census Bureau point to a truly extraordinary fact: By the year 2050, almost one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic.
This is coupled with news that by 2042, about eight years earlier than previously thought, whites will lose their majority status in the U.S. These remarkable facts have huge implications for education, politics and business in America.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “as whites retire they will increasingly see the jobs they left go to minorities – in particular Hispanics – now making their way through the school system.” And while immigration continues to be a factor in the rapid growth of Hispanics, “for the past several years most of the growth has come from births.”
How will your business change as a result? Well, some industries will probably experience dramatic change while others will sense a lesser but still visible impact. For instance, the food industry is one of those that is and will continue changing in fundamental ways. Everyone knows about the proliferation of Mexican food dining outlets and products at grocery stores, but be prepared to see an influx of eateries and products from Central and South America as well. Keep in mind that only two-thirds of U.S. Hispanics are of Mexican origin; the rest represent an important contingent form Central America and the Caribbean, as well as growing numbers from South American countries like Colombia, Venezuela and Peru where food tastes differ quite a bit.
Clothing and furniture are other areas that will be affected in a major way. The body shape of Latinas is different from that of Anglo women, so size variety and style will have to change. Hispanics also prefer brighter colors for their apparel and home décor, so manufacturers and retailers will have to accommodate this shift.
And how are you going to transport all those Latino kids back and forth with ballooning gas prices? Since gas-guzzling SUVs will likely continue experiencing a decline, perhaps the opportunity for automakers could be in developing large family sedans that deliver a 30-mpg fuel economy or a new range of electric or alternative fuel family vehicles.
The America of the mid-twenty first century will likely look, taste and feel quite different from today. Those companies that start preparing now for the coming changes will be in a better position to reap the benefits of these new opportunities.
Javier Corona is the director of Hispanic marketing for HEILBrice VISIÓNLatina, a leading Hispanic marketing and advertising agency that recently won a prestigious Silver Level Effie Award for Marketing Effectiveness from the American Marketing Association for its Hispanic Beef Marketing Toolkit developed for The Beef Checkoff.