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Nielsen Tracks the Latina Buying Power Shift

Posted: August 1, 2013

With a projected buying power slated to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, Hispanics are an important group for marketers, and leading the growth within this vital segment are women, according to a new report by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s report, Latina Power Shift, highlights the role of Hispanic women, their growing numbers, economic condition, purchasing behavior and consumption.

“The modern Latina is ‘ambicultural’ with the ability to seamlessly transcend between English and Spanish-language—two cultures—giving her a unique position in our consumer landscape,” said Mónica Gil, senior vice president, public affairs and government relations, Nielsen. “Latinas are a key driver of economic influence, giving marketers an opportunity to establish new and loyal consumer relationships by acknowledging the needs and following the unique behavior trends of Hispanic women.”

According to Nielsen, Latinas are becoming the growth engine of females in the U.S., and are expected to comprise 30% of the total female population by 2060. Contributing to the change of the nuclear family model, almost a quarter (23%) of all U.S. births in 2011 were to a Latina mom, with nearly two thirds (63%) of Hispanic families having children under the age of 18, compared to 40% for non-Hispanic white females.

Latinas are converting conventional roles by increasingly becoming the primary income earners—changing the face of Hispanic household dynamics from traditional male-dominated family units, and assuming roles as the main or joint decision makers in every category from purchasing groceries, insurance, financial services, electronics and family care.

Taking an in-depth look at the Latina consumer, providing key insights on purchasing behavior, lifestyle aspirations, cultural drivers and media consumption, Nielsen’s Latina Power Shift report reveals the following:

  • Eighty-six percent of Latinas say a woman is the primary shopper in their households, controlling the majority of the current $1.2 trillion Hispanic buying power.
  • Seventy-three percent of Hispanic high school female graduates are enrolling in college, more than Hispanic males (61%) and slightly more than non-Hispanic females (72%).
  • A majority of Latinas embrace their duality and want to shift to the ambicultural. Seventy-one percent culturally feel more American, and 50% feel more Latina.
  • The percentage of households with Latinas 18+ with an annual income of $75,000 or more increased five points over the past 10 years, from 16% to 21% and those households with an income of $25,000 or more declined six points, from 33% to 27%.
  • Online Latinas (77%) are more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts (55%) to own smartphones.
  • Fifteen percent of Latinas mostly use Spanish to surf the web, and 31% use both Spanish and English equally.
  • When Latinas search for Latino subject matters online, recipes top the list, followed by news, music, family health, beauty and celebrations.