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)
|Source: U.S. Census population estimates and projections, 2003|
"It is not only the quantitative growth, but the quality of growth in terms of higher jobs, enterprise growth, and savings and investing trends that fully describe the Hispanic market," says Juan Solana, chief economist for HispanTelligence. "These factors all contribute to increasing the wealth and economic development of Hispanics."
Internal dynamics of the population indicate that over time, the U.S. Hispanic market will lose its immigrant character and meld with the mainstream culture. The main driver behind this qualitative change is the growth of second- and third-generation Hispanic segments, compared to first-generation immigrants. Data projections by the Pew Hispanic Center show that by 2020, nearly half (47 percent) of the growth in the Hispanic population will come from the second generation and another 38 percent from the third generation (see table). Immigrants will account for only a quarter (25 percent) of new Hispanics.