September 15 – October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s personal to me, not only because of my Hispanic heritage, but because my father was intimately involved in its creation. In fact, President Ronald Reagan called him the “Father of Hispanic Heritage Month.”
Since the 1980’s, the Latino Community in America has radically changed, as has its influence in politics and economics. Between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census, the Latino community accounted for 56% of the increase in the American population. In raw numbers, in 2000, the Census counted just over 35 million Latinos. In 2010, it counted just over 50 million Latinos, a major milestone.
This explosion in the number of Latinos has enormous implications for the economy and for politics. Estimates based on the 2010 Census pegged the economic buying power of the Latino community at $1 Trillion and predicted it to increase to $1.3 Trillion by 2015. With this kind of buying power, it’s essential for businesses and corporations to include the Latino community in its marketing and outreach plans.
The Latino community has always played a significant role in politics in placeslike California, Florida, Colorado and Nevada. However, Latinos may play anoutsized role in this year’s Presidential election. According to a recent report in the Washington Post, in states such as Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia, where the Presidential race is expected to be very close, increased Latino populations could easily determine the winner. Like never before, Presidential campaigns from both political parties are reaching out to the Latino community.
The trend is clear. Latinos continue to grow as a community all across America.Their influence on the economy and politics will also continue to grow. Whether you are a corporation or a politician, it is essential to have a plan for marketing or outreach to Latinos. It is necessary for success in today’s world.