News Column

Past, Present, Future

June 2004, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Joel Russell

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The best-selling book "Megatrends" predicted in 1982 that minority demographics would change the U.S. work force, economy, and political structure. Three years earlier, Hispanic Business began documenting this change by tracking data on Hispanic empowerment. The magazine's 25th anniversary provides a historic moment to look back at the Hispanic market's transformation over the past quarter century, as well as to look forward to the changes yet to come.

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VIDEO: A New Millennium



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Twenty-five years ago, futurists had an easy task in pointing to a future Hispanic population wave. But with surprising speed, Hispanics have advanced beyond "new immigrant" status to enter the U.S. middle class. The implications of this transition will continue to define the progress for the U.S. Hispanic market during the next 25 years.

"Certainly, the U.S. Hispanic market can be characterized as being in a state of dynamic flux, especially during the last 25 years," states the introduction to "Hispanic Consumers in Transition," a book from HispanTelligence, the research service unit of Hispanic Business. "This market's growth has been dramatic fueled by demographic expansion, as well as by rising demand and opportunity in the U.S. labor and entrepreneurial markets."

POPULATION GROWTH (in millions)
Group 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030
Non-Hispanic White 180,256 188,128 195,729 201,112 205,936 209,176
African American 26,495 29,986 35,818 40,454 45,365 50,442
Hispanic 14,609 22,354 35,622 47,756 59,756 73,055
Asian 3,500 7,274 10,684 14,241 17,988 22,580
Other 6,758 9,805 7,075 9,246 11,822 14,831
U.S. Total 226,546 248,710 282,125 308,936 335,805 363,584
Note: U.S. total figures do not add to 100 percent because Hispanic is an ethnicity rather than race
Source: U.S. Census population estimates and projections, 2003


In population the most basic measure of demographic shift Hispanics now rank as the largest minority ethnic group in the nation. In 1980, Hispanics numbered 14.6 million and accounted for 6.4 percent of the U.S. population. The 2000 Census counted 35.6 million Hispanics, accounting for 12.6 percent of the country. Based on Census projections, Hispanics will represent more than one-fifth of the U.S. population by 2030 (see tables).

… LEADS TO DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT
(percentage of total U.S. population)
Group 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030
Non-Hispanic White 79.6% 75.6% 69.4% 65.1% 61.3% 57.5%
African American 11.7% 12.1% 12.7% 13.1% 3.5% 13.9%
Hispanic 6.4% 8.8% 12.6% 15.5% 17.8% 20.1%
Asian 1.5% 2.9% 3.8% 4.6% 5.4% 6.2%
Other 3.0% 3.9% 2.5% 3.0% 3.5% 4.1%
Source: U.S. Census population estimates and projections, 2003

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