‘Upscale Latino’ Segment Represents Almost Half Of Hispanic Spending Power According To New Study

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Hispanics with an income above $50,000 a year are increasing, and in the next few years they will become a crucial population segment in the U.S. consumption patterns, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) revealed in a new study. In 2012 there were around 15 million so-called "Upscale Latinos," whose annual incomes were between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, which accounted for 29% of the whole U.S. Hispanic population.

It is expected that this percentage will double by 2015, according to the study "America's New Upscale Segment: Latinos," elaborated by measurement company Nielsen along with AHAA, and presented last month by Reni Díaz and Carlos Santiago in a meeting to unveil the results. According to their data, this segment has a spending capacity of about 0.5 billion, equivalent to 37% of the 1.3 billion dollars that the entire Latino population spend.

In addition, the majority of this segment is bicultural (75% speak Spanish and English in their daily lives) and is the engine of small businesses (1 in 8 households of influential Latinos has an entrepreneur among its members), while more than half of them have gone to college. This group of Latinos, younger on average than the rest of the country, 33 years compared to 39 for non-Hispanics, is in a formative stage to establish and assert their identity as consumers.

While they reside across the country, they are mostly concentrated in urban areas, such as Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Miami, and the surrounding communities. They also are boosting the Hispanic populations of secondary markets, like Jacksonville, Honolulu and Washington D.C., and smaller communities, such as Salt Lake City, Raleigh and Oklahoma City.

Regarding consumption habits, influential Latinos, besides being pioneers in the use of mobile banking, invest their money in various products, ranging from retirement plans or savings for education, to credit cards, car loans or mortgages. Upscale Latinos also spend in health and beauty products, especially on men's toiletries, women's fragrances, hair care and cosmetics, with an emphasis on brand choices.

The study also identified sub-segments within Upscale Latinos: Young Accumulators, Young Achievers, Urban Uptowners, and Affluentials. The first group are those who start building a family or have small kids and become property  owners thanks to an economy based in two salaries. The achievers are the ones who live in individual households in metropolitan neighborhoods and are mostly college graduates.

The "urban uptowners" have greater access to travel, technology and luxury goods and concentrate in larger cities. And the "affluentials" are the ones ranging in the ages 40-50 and have more acquisitive power. They usually live in suburban areas. With Upscale Hispanics controlling $4 out of every $10 Hispanic spend dollars, this growing segment will be an essential component not only for Hispanic marketers but also for successful total market Upscale marketers. 


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Maria G. Valdez

Born and raised Dominican living in New York (do not confuse with Dominican-York), who claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long lost daughter. Creative Multimedia Reporter and On-Air Personality (Web, Print and Radio), New York Film Academy trained performer with solid entertainment instincts and trained journalist graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, in Dominican Republic. She has experience covering human interest stories and social and large scale events with a focus on Latino entertainment. Former journalist of Ritmo Social, one of Dominican Republic’s most prestigious magazines, and former on-air co-host of a radio variety show in her home country that caters to the youth demographic.

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