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The U.S. Hispanic population continues to boom according to new 2010 U.S. Census data. Racial and ethnic minorities are expected to make up an unprecedented 90 percent of the total U.S. growth since 2000, due to immigration and higher birth rates for Latinos. Here are the most important points of the 2010 Census Results and their dramatic impact termed the “transformational decade”, and their many businesses implications today.

1. Hispanics, African Americans and Asians account for 85 percent of all the growth U.S. Census in the U.S. in the last 10 years. The US population now totals 308.7M residents vs. 281.4M in 2000; the 9.7% growth rate is the slowest decade-over-decade growth since 1940.

The social, economic and cultural ramifications of the data are already reshaping how Americans see themselves and marketers should follow by redefining strategy and programming.

Many businesses will need to re-evaluate their core audiences segments to help ensure they are optimizing engagement with these growing populations who also have growing purchasing power (Selig Institute).

2. Currently, the fastest growing group ? Hispanics ? are on track to exceed 50M or roughly 1 in 6 Americans (Hispanic Business); among U.S. children, Hispanics are already 1 in 4 of all newborns nationwide.

Ensuring that growing numbers of Hispanics continue to join the professional and creative industries in American society (i.e. as educators, lawyers, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs, etc.) is essential for the on-going social, economic and cultural vitality of the nation. Companies have an opportunity to increase their engagement and involvement in growing their current and future workforce and community.

Youth marketing effort that does not speak to Hispanic audiences is leaving opportunity on the table.

3. The first of 78 million baby boomers born in the wake of the Second World War will turn 65 in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum, Hispanics, African Americans and Asians, accounting for 104 million today (U.S. Census), tend to be 5 to 10 years younger, on the average, than the general population.

Focusing on demographics and acculturation levels alone will not cut it any longer; a model that capitalizes on consumer motivations and attitudes is imperative to effectively connect with various generations with various multicultural dimensions.

4. The demographic dispersions reflected on the Census point to continued growth in the south and southwest with TX, AZ, CA, NV, NC and FL experiencing the highest growth rates, fueled by Hispanic growth. African Americans showing increased moves towards warmer southern locations and more suburban areas in Washington DC, New York and Chicago among other places.

Hispanics are realizing that they’re not melding with mainstream culture, but influencing and defining it, while simultaneously holding on to their culture of heritage.

Similar to the adoption of dual-language, in-culture communications strategies, marketing coverage needs to go beyond larger cities in largest states.

Understanding how consumers live, love and play requires marketing insights beyond common held assumptions, e.g. such as all African-American being “urban”. WSJ March 25, 2011.

5. Diverse segments are increasing in importance; e.g., the Asian population alone grew faster than any other major race group between 2000 and 2010, increasing by 43 percent. (U.S. Census)

It is not all about Hispanics. Multiculturalism permeates today’s society. We can expect Asians, along with other ethnic groups, to drive business market growth in various categories.

Where are you coming down on the topic of multiculturalism in marketing: strategic imperative or tactical bolt-on? A competitive advantage for early movers? Either way, the data are irrefutable. America is a changed and changing landscape for all of us. Let’s get the conversation started.

Related Article: "Census 2010: Predictions for a Digital, Multicultural World"

Loida Rosario is SVP, Multicultural Strategy and Planning of Edelman’s Chicago office.

*Content adapted from an article


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