Latinx: The next big demographic revolution

Many marketers are unaware that the Hispanic community is shaping early technology adoption in the U.S.

The next big demographic revolution is upon us -- and it’s Latinx, says Nielsen.

Stacie de Armas, the company’s VP of strategic initiatives and consumer engagement, stressed the community is setting the pace in technology adoption given the vast gap in age counterparts.

The U.S. Latinx community makes up 18 percent of the population. Last year alone, it contributed 51 percent of the total growth of the U.S. population. The median age of U.S. Latinx is 28. Compare this to the median age of non-Hispanic white at 43.

"The community is a lot younger," said de Armas at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday. "Even when you look at same age Hispanics to non-Hispanic whites, you see all these differences with engagement with tech.

"Typically you imagine folks 18 to 24 -- regardless of their ethnic background -- having the same tech adoption rates whether you’re a Millennial or Gen Z, but that’s not what we see. We see the Latinx community way over indexing for a lot of these digital, social behaviors."

A recent Nielsen (which uses terms Latinx, Latino, Latina and Hispanic interchangeably) study found that 60 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population is under the age of 34, compared to around 40 percent for the non-Hispanic white community.

But more interestingly, the research revealed that one third of the U.S. Hispanic population is aged 18 or younger. This means Hispanics will be pace-setting tech adoption in the years to come.

Marketers fall foul of engaging with Latinx because many assume they tick the box by putting out a non-Hispanic white-angled campaign in Spanish with no regard to cultural nuance, said de Armas.

"Simple put, there is a predisposition among Latinos regardless of generation or whether you’re bilingual," she continued.

"There’s a predisposition to engage in social activity and dialogue in real life whether it’s with friends or family. And those same behaviors bleed over and extend to their use on digital and social platforms. It’s a really interesting finding because it tells us culture does drive attitudes."

She added: "You need to look at this community holistically, knowing that they engage in language by choice when and where they please. Really approaching it with more cultural relevance and authenticity."

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