Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, designates a time for us to reflect on our country’s numerous Latino leaders, both past and present, and measure their influence on a culture that continues to grow and impact the economy on a local and national level. Though the Great Recession was tough on the U.S. Hispanic population, which according to Forbes suffered a 44 percent drop in household wealth during that period, major economic indicators signal that the Hispanic business community has rallied in recent years.
In fact, it appears the Hispanic influence on the economy, be it from a consumer or business perspective, is surging. Here are four ways the Hispanic market is impacting the overall economy.
They’re influential. The Hispanic population accounts for about 17 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Census estimates from 2013 indicate that about 54 million Hispanics live in the U.S., which makes the Hispanic population the largest ethnic or race minority in the country. The Pew Research Center reports that as of 2011, Arizona was home to about 1.95 million Hispanics, accounting for about 30 percent of the state’s population. Those numbers indicate some serious spending power. Experts believe the Hispanic population has harnessed about $1.5 trillion in spending power this year alone. With a significant population, comes significant income and significant influence.
They’re invested. The U.S. workforce is always evolving, and the latest evolution involves the Hispanic population. The Pew Research Center reports that as of 2013, U.S.-born Hispanics, as opposed to immigrants, accounted for the majority of Hispanic workers in the country. Knowing that, it stands to reason that this evolving workforce is a more permanent one that is more deeply invested in its community, local real estate, local schools and U.S. jobs.
They’re entrepreneurs. According to research conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy and the Latino Door Collaborative, Hispanic immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than the average U.S. citizen. Entrepreneurship among Hispanics has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, jumping from 321,000 Hispanic owned businesses to 1.4 million between 1990 and 2012. During the Great Recession, the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs increased by 71.5 percent. Between 2010 and 2012, there were an estimated 160,000 new Hispanic entrepreneurs.
They’re workers. Put simply, the Hispanic population has a very high rate of participation in the workforce. Libre Initiative, a Hispanic advocacy organization, reported that the Hispanic population has the highest labor force participation rate. About 75 percent of Hispanic men are members of the work force, which outpaces other ethnicities.
The Hispanic population not only contributes a great deal to our economy from an employee and business-owner perspective, it also wields heavy influence in the consumer sector with its buying power and its increasing commitment to and investment in the local community.