August 10, 2001

Research Shows Young Urban Hispanics Making Impressive Gains in Income & Education

Houston - (07/31/01) - A new research report from The Media Audit shows 14.3 percent of urban Hispanic adults, 18 to 34, have annual household incomes of $50,000 or more. The comparable percent for Caucasians is 12.7; African-Americans, 12.3; and, the general population, 13.6.

The study also shows that these same young Hispanics are graduating from college in much greater numbers than their preceding generations. Only 18.9 percent of Hispanics surveyed have a college degree, but 41 percent of Hispanics with degrees are 18 to 34. This age group, 18 to 34, accounts for approximately 51% of the adult Hispanic population in the 85 markets covered by this survey.

"The fact that these income and education levels were achieved by the youngest Hispanic group measured in our survey is very significant," says Bob Jordan, co-chairman of the 30-year-old firm that produces The Media Audit, a syndicated survey covering 85 markets. "We think it is reasonable to expect that as this group moves up in age it will continue to establish new levels of affluence and education among Hispanics," he says, "In addition, the 18 to 34 year old group is the fastest growing segment of the Hispanic population in the markets we cover. Approximately 75 percent of the newcomers to these markets are in this age group."

According to the survey, Hispanics lose ground - in both affluence and education as the age group gets older," says Jordan, "with significant differences between the oldest groups." To illustrate his point, Jordan said, "only 4.6 percent of Hispanics age 50 or older have annual household incomes of $50,000 or more while the percentage among the general adult population is 11.6 percent. Among Caucasians it is 14.3 percent and among African-Americans it is 7.3 percent."

"In education the same pattern emerges," says Jordan, "approximately 41.5 percent of Hispanics with a degree are between 18 to 34. Thirty percent of Hispanics with a degree are between 35 to 44, 15.9 percent are 45 to 54, 8 percent are 55 to 64 and just 3.7 percent are 65 to 74."

As would be expected, 18 to 34 year olds also dominate the numbers of Hispanics in professional/technical occupations. Although only 8.3 percent of Hispanics surveyed are employed in professional/technical occupations, 46.3 percent of them are 18 to 34. In the proprietor/managerial occupations the picture is the same: 13.3 percent of all Hispanics are in this group, but 50 percent of them are 18 and 34.

"The relationship between education, income and occupation stands out in the survey," says Jordan, "and this relationships dispels any thought that the increasing affluence among young Hispanics is solely attributable to longer hours worked or multiple income households."

The report, containing 60 pages of tabular data, is based on more than 122,000 phone interviews conducted between January of 2000 and March of 2001. The Hispanic sample is 9,655. "The research was conducted in 85 markets in which we do business," says Jordan. The markets are surveyed individually for local market subscribers and then aggregated for a national report: i.e. - an aggregated report based on the 85 local markets. The markets covered in the research are home to approximately 16 million adult Hispanics. The total aggregate population of the 85 metro markets covered in the survey is approximately 125 million.

"It must be stressed," says Jordan, "that this survey is of Hispanics living in 85 metropolitan areas. It does include the rural Hispanic population of the counties surrounding the primary urban county. It should also be noted that the Hispanic communities in each of the 85 metro markets are often distinctively different. In New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston the Hispanic communities come from different countries and cultures. This is not a single homogenous national group. Users of our data would be wise to start out viewing it as representing 85 individual Hispanic communities. They can then be aggregated into national, regional or local representations."

The survey collected more than 400 fields of information from Hispanics, ages 18 and older, about their media habits, shopping habits, leisure activities and other consumer phenomena. The information ranged from whether Hispanics have checking accounts (67.5% yes) to ATM use (57.9% yes) to plan to buy a home in next two years (20.6% yes).

The research reveals the Hispanic community as a very distinctive group. "In many ways they are distinctive from the general population and from other minority groups," says Jordan. "They share the American love of the automobile," says Jordan", but there are variations in what they buy. They are more likely to buy vans, trucks and sport utility vehicles than cars."

They don't read the front-page section of newspapers as regularly as the general population (35.8% vs. 51.4%) but they come closer with the sports section (24.8% vs. 28.7%). They are more inclined to read the classified ad section (12% vs.10%). They watch sporting events on television and they watch soccer and boxing a lot more than the general adult population. They read more direct mail advertising than the general population and they listen to radio during the week almost as much as the general population.

Even in politics the Hispanics stand alone. While the Caucasian population, in the TMA research, was split almost evenly between Democrats, Republicans and Independents, African-Americans tilted strongly to the Democrats, 65 percent; 22.4 percent Independent and just 4 percent Republican. Although 42 percent of Hispanics surveyed said they were Democrats, almost 30 percent said they were Independent, and 13.5 percent said they were Republicans.

"Overall, "says Jordan, "the research reveals a culturally diverse segment of our population which is growing rapidly and is just beginning to earn the attention it deserves from marketers." According to the U.S. census the Hispanic population has grown 58 percent in the past ten years.

The Media Audit provides both quantitative and qualitative data for traditional media as well as for new media. In addition to comprehensive audience profiles, TMA provides trend data on market penetration and market share.

Traditional media - print, broadcast and outdoor - have used TMA data in sales, marketing and management for 30 years. In l998, the survey started providing data on local media web sites. The surveys now contain more than 400 fields of qualitative information in addition to quantitative measurements of local web audiences.

TMA has more than 1700 clients that include radio and television stations, cable television networks, cable television operators, daily newspapers, alternative weekly newspapers, city and regional magazines, shopper publications, outdoor billboard companies, and direct mail houses. In addition, TMA clients include local Internet web sites for daily newspapers, television and radio stations, alternative newspapers, shoppers and city guides. The client base also includes more than 500 advertising agencies, media buying services and advertisers.

TMA is a product of International Demographics, Inc., a 30-year-old Houston firm that is engaged exclusively in syndicated, multimedia surveys conducted at the local market level.

For furhter information about this report by The Media Audit Group you can visit their web site at: www.themediaaudit.com.

Return to the Frontpage