Page 39 - Latino Boom II

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P o r t r a i t o f L a t i n o U . S . A .
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S H I F T F R OM F O R E I GN - B O R N T O
U . S . - B O R N L A T I NO S
The perception in the United States is that the majority of Hispanics are
foreign born. While this was true between 1970 and 2000, the tortilla
flipped in the middle of the 1990s when the U.S.-born Hispanic popu-
lation became the majority for the first time. According to the 2010
update of the American Community Survey, 37 percent (almost 19 mil-
lion) of Hispanics in the United States are foreign-born, down from 40.2
percent in 2002. Two-thirds of Latinos (67 percent) or about 32 million
Hispanics are “native” born. Among the foreign-born Hispanic popu-
lation in 2010, 35 percent entered the United States after 2000, 27.9
percent entered between 1990 and 1999 and another 19 percent came
in the 1980s. Figure 3.21 shows you the breakdown of foreign-born vs.
U.S.-born Latinos since 1950.
From a marketing perspective, the differences between foreign-
born Latinos and U.S.-born Latinos are important to keep in mind. But
country of origin is not the only factor to consider. Latino consumer
behavior differences are also marked by other factors, like level of edu-
cation, language usage, and whether they live in a traditional or emerg-
ing Hispanic area. I can be born in a foreign country and emigrate at a
very young age and still be classified as foreign-born from a marketer’s
perspective, which would be a mistake since my consumer behavior will
actually be closer to Latinos who are U.S.-born. So I recommend that
you focus more on understanding exactly who your target market is in
terms of age, gender, life stage, etc., and not focus so much on whether
they were born here or not. Any good agency worth its salt will help you
really understand
who
your target market is and where you can find
them, when you are ready.
L ANGUAG E P R E F E R E NC E
Language usage and preference continues to be the most controversial
of all the key factors to understand when addressing the Hispanic
market since it goes to the core of how to speak to your consumer.