The Changing Face of the American Consumer

Independent agents may want to focus on the emerging Hispanic market.

The 2010 census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, which was 16.3% of the total population. The nation’s Latino population, which was 35.3 million in 2000, grew 43% over the decade. The Hispanic population also accounted for most of the nation’s growth—56%—from 2000 to 2010.

Meanwhile, for children ages 17 and younger, there were 17.1 million Latinos, or 23.1% of this age group, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center. The number of Latino children also grew 39% over the decade. In 2000, there were 12.3 million Hispanic children, who accounted for 17.1% of the population under age 18.

Geographically, most Hispanics live in nine states that have large, long-standing Latino communities: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Texas. But the populations residing in other states have been on the rise. In 2010, 76% of Latinos lived in these nine states, compared with 81% in 2000 and 86% in 1990.

In addition, in 2000, 50% of Hispanics in the United States lived in California and Texas alone. In 2010, that share was 46%.

The states with the largest percent growth in their Hispanic populations include nine states where the population more than doubled, including a swath in the southeast United States comprised of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina. The Hispanic population also more than doubled in Maryland and South Dakota.

The Pew Hispanic Center also provides a chart here that illustrates growth in the Hispanic population over the past four decades in the United States. It rose from 14.6 million in 1980 to 50.5 million in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Agencies that are interested to see how the growth in the Latino population looks locally can review a new online interactive map developed by NPR. The map uses 2010 census data to show the change in the U.S. Hispanic population. The map also shows the 2,962 U.S. counties (out of 3,142 total counties) where Hispanic population has increased. In addition, it shows that 118 counties have experienced a Hispanic population change of more than 250%, and four counties have experienced change of more than 1,000%.

More information about the work of the Big “I” Diversity Task Force is available