The wave of Spanglish has hit advertisers in recent years. Dos Equis invites its customers to “Keep it Interesante,” while taco fans at Taco Bell “Live Más.”
Home Depot and other retailers have adopted a near bilingual policy in stores. Smart move!
Hispanic culture is alive an well in the US, and it is an important growth engine for the US and will be for decades into the future.
In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included September 15 and September 16. In 1989, Congress expanded the observance to a month, from September 15 to October 15. It celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. We end Hispanic heritage month on October 15, which interestingly spans the celebration of Christopher Columbus, who sailed for the Spanish crown, and whose mark on history has in recent decades been reviewed. We still honor him in the denotation of the District of Columbia.
Here are some Interesante facts about the US Hispanic population:
58.9 Million – the number of US Hispanics, now some 18% of the US population. It is rapidly growing and is the source of demographic growth in southern and western states
The Hispanic population is largest in the California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico and major metropolitan areas in the North, like Chicago, New York, and New Jersey. However, growth in the population is seen across all states!
High Hispanic populations in states correspond with the highest population (and economic) growth in the US over the last 65 years. Live Más indeed!
111 Million – the number of US Hispanics in 2060, when the group will constitute nearly 30% of the US population!
2050 – The year in which the US is forecasted to be home to the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Today, the US is the second largest Spanish-speaking nation, after only Mexico. High Hispanics populations correspond to states with the highest growth in the US over the last 65 years. ¡Se Habla Español!
The US recently surpassed Spain to be the second largest Spanish-speaking country, with over 52 million Spanish speakers, or about 13% of the US population.
It makes me think about the Spanish empire and how much of it is being linguistically and culturally recovered. Here is a map of the lands controlled at one time by the Spanish Empire. So much of North America is reverting back to its colonial roots.
From the map of Hispanics in the US, as taken from the last census in 2010, one can easily see the distribution along Spanish colonies in the US.
Research from the Pew Center shows that the US Hispanic population is growing rapidly, is increasingly US born, not foreign born, has an increasing English proficiency and is comprised of a diversity peoples from many Latin American countries, not just Mexico.
The composition of US Hispanics, although dominated by Mexicans, is increasingly diverse with peoples from Central America and the Caribbean.
The economic, political, social, and cultural opportunities with the US Hispanic population are immense. Firms and leaders would be wise to newly engage this large group of Americans and when doing so will be surprised to learn that they are diverse in politics, culture, and economics.
Looking for growth in your business, look to a demographic that will add over 50 million people in the next 40 years, nearly doubling in size. Hispanics will be increasingly US born, bilingual, and culturally rooted in both their native and US cultures. It is a massive source of customers and workers, but one also worthy of customization and understanding to be successful. No other ethic group in the US can promise that level of growth and opportunity!
Professor Walker is Cuban and Spanish by heritage, speaks Spanish, likes Ropa Vieja and Paella, served as a director of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber Commerce, where he launched an entrepreneur incubator for Hispanic start-ups, enjoys visiting US Hispanic cultural sites, and has advised multiple US Senators on US Latino affairs.
Professor Walker provides keynote talks, seminars presentations, executive training programs, and executive briefings.
Recent talk topics enjoyed by clients have included:
“From Big Data to Big Profits: Getting the Most from Your Data and Analytics”
“Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Automation at Work”
“Winner Take All – Digital Strategy: From Data to Dominance”
“Success with an Inter-Generational Workforce: From Boomers to Millennials”
“FinTech, Payments, and Economic Trends and Outlooks in Consumer Lending”
“The World in 2050: Risks and Opportunities Ahead”
About Russell Walker, Ph.D.
Professor Russell Walker helps companies develop strategies to manage risk and harness value through analytics and Big Data. He is Clinical Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. He has worked with many professional sports teams and leading marketing organizations through the Analytical Consulting Lab, an experiential class that he founded and leads at Kellogg.
His most recent and award-winning book, From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics is published by Oxford University Press (2015), which explores how firms can best monetize Big Data through digital strategies. He is the author of the text Winning with Risk Management (World Scientific Publishing, 2013), which examines the principles and practice of risk management through business case studies.
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