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The Miami Herald
Strong Growth Forecast In Economy, Size Of Hispanic Community
By GREGG FIELDS
14 November 2004
MIAMI - The Hispanic community of the United States should continue its strong growth in both size and economic standing through 2010, with incomes rising faster than those of the general population, according to a new survey from the Conference Board.
The Conference Board, a New York-based economic research organization, said the number of Hispanic households should increase by 35 percent by the year 2010, climbing to 13.5 million from the current 10 million.
Miami ranks third nationally in the number of Hispanic households, behind only Los Angeles and New York.
By 2010, Hispanic households will have $670 billion in personal income, a 45 percent rise. Nationally, the community will remain dominated by the Mexican population, which will account for $409 billion of the 2010 total, or more than all other Hispanic communities combined.
To some degree, the figures reflect the powerful growth in the Hispanic population. The growth in the number of households, for example, is about five times that of the country overall.
But the study also illustrates how Hispanic growth rates can mask underlying economic challenges for the community.
For instance, average household income for the nation as a whole is currently about $58,000 and projected at $63,728 by 2010.
In the Hispanic populace, however, it is currently $44,385. And although the projected growth rate is roughly equal to that of the nation, Hispanic household income will average $48,842 in 2010, significantly below that of the country overall.
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center, said the growth in Hispanic households presents both challenges and opportunities for U.S. businesses.
"As the Hispanic market keeps growing both in size and buying power, companies in a wide variety of industries will enjoy significant marketing opportunities," she said. "But since this young, burgeoning market is extremely diverse, marketers should be aware of extensive demographic and economic differences among the Hispanic household population."
One major difference: "Cuban households are more affluent."
For instance, Cuban household income averages just over $43,000 annually, vs. $38,333 for Puerto Rican households.
The Cuban population is the smallest of the nation's Hispanic communities, according to the Conference Board, with 511,000 households, but it's the predominant Hispanic group in South Florida. The Cuban community also skews older than most other Hispanic communities, with a majority of Cuban households headed by someone 55 or older.
That greater age could be one component of higher household incomes for Cuban families. Also, Franco found that 27 percent of Cubans work in managerial or professional jobs, the highest of any Hispanic community.
The purchasing power of Cuban households should grow 45 percent over the next six years, climbing to $32 billion, the survey predicted, even though the number of household will expand by just 40 percent.