7 Reasons Latinos are a force to be reckoned with

latina in board roomI feel so fortunate to love what I do for a living. I travel the country educating marketers about Latinos. I recently realized that just because you are Latina, unless you do this for a living, you might not really know just how huge and powerful Latinos are in this country.  Latinos (along with African-Americans, Asians and other multicultural segments) account for 76% of new, U.S. population growth while the "white" population is stagnant or even declining!  So let me share seven of the most important facts you should know about Latinos.

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1. Hispanic and Latino are ONLY used in the U.S. The Census Bureau started using the term Hispanic in 1980 to classify people of Spanish or Hispanic origin. In 2000, the Bureau used Hispanic and Latino. Yet, according to Pew Hispanic Center, "51% of Hispanics prefer to use their family's country of origin to describe their identity."  I am one of those. Depending on who asks, I say Latina or Chilena! 

2. We're bigger than EVERY Spanish-Speaking country in the world, except for Mexico. According to the U.S. Census bureau, there are 54 million Latinos living in the U.S. and we are the nation's largest ethnic segment.

3. U.S. births are driving the growth in Hispanic population. In the 1990s immigration fueled 70 percent of the Hispanic population growth. Today, the majority of the growth is driven by the U.S. births. The children of immigrants who still identify themselves as Hispanic, Latino or from their family's country of origin.

4. Latino buying power is $1.5 trillion and on the rise according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth. We are obviously an economic powerhouse to be reckoned with! As a group we have more spending power than entire nations outside of U.S. borders.

5. We come from 20+ different Latin American nations. However, those who trace their origin to Mexico account for 64% of this nation's total Hispanic population.

6. 70% of all Latinos live in 5 states, California, Texas, New York, Florida and New Jersey and they account for 25% to 60% of everyone living in key cities within these states. 

7. Hispanics are by far the youngest ethnic group in the U.S. according to Pew Hispanic Center.  "The median age of Hispanics is 27 years and 18 years among native-born Hispanics—compared with 42 years for that of white non-Hispanics.

These reasons and so many more make Latinos instrumental in shaping and transforming the cultural, political and economic landscape of this nation. I am proud to be a part of this exciting movement.

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Topics: culture  hispanic heritage  hispanic traditions  history  latino professionals