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Despite growing buying power, Hispanics face challenges

A report issued today indicates that Hispanic buying power, estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by the end of 2011, will have a positive impact on seven industry sectors nationwide.

IBISWorld, a market and industry research firm, states that 20 industries in seven sectors over the next five years “will benefit most from a growing Hispanic population in the United States.”

The report adds:

  • Hispanic buying power will total $1.1 trillion in 2011, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. total.
  • Over the next five years, the nation’s buying power is projected to grow 27.5 percent to $14.7 trillion, while that of the Hispanic population is forecast to grow 48.1 percent to $1.6 trillion.
  • Hispanic buying power will have an impact on the food, retail, automotive and entertainment and media industries

The IBIS report adds that “Hispanics comprise a quickly growing share of the higher-education sector, leading enrollment growth among all racial groups over the past five years.”

It also indicates that “soaring tuition costs, however, remain a limiting factor. As a result, Hispanics have also led strong growth in community college and trade and technical school enrollment.”

A Pew Hispanic Center (.pdf) report issued in late August indicates that “from 2009 to 2010, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolled in college grew by 349,000, compared with an increase of 88,000 young blacks and 43,000 young Asian Americans and a decrease of 320,000 young non-Hispanic whites.”

The Pew report adds:

  • Hispanics are not the largest minority group on the nation’s four-year college campuses.
  • Although the college enrollment rate of young Hispanics was at a record high in 2010, black, Asian and white young adults continue to be more likely than young Hispanics to be enrolled in college.
  • Of all young Hispanics who were attending college in October 2010, some 46 percent were at a two-year college and 54 percent were at a four-year college. By contrast, among young white college students, 73 percent were enrolled in a four-year college, as were 78 percent of young Asian college students and 63 percent of young black college students.

The Pew Hispanic report adds that, despite narrowing the college enrollment gap, “Hispanic young adults continue to be the least educated major racial or ethnic group in terms of completion of a bachelor’s degree.”

In November 2010, the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia reported that “although the Great Recession has hit Hispanics and Asians particularly hard, their buying power is expected to grow rapidly over the next several years.”

Despite this growth a report issued by the Pew Research Center indicates that “in Florida median home prices dropped 38 percent between the end of 2005 and the end of 2009. That means that, along with Arizona, California, Michigan and Nevada, the median drop in household wealth for Florida Hispanics was around 88 percent.”

The Pew report also adds that “the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites.” Household wealth among Hispanics fell 66 percent, from more than $18,000 in 2005 to a little more than $6,000 in 2009, while black households saw a 53 percent decrease and white households a 16 percent fall in household wealth.

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