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Latinos in Los Angeles County are Flexing their Economic Muscle, Spending More than Other Ethnicities

First Posted: Mar 30, 2016 08:58 AM EDT
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A recent study released by Beacon Economics for the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce found Hispanic households earned between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2014, a 10.2 percent increase from 2000 that led to $72.4 billion in spending across heavily-marketed consumer categories, including electronics, food, and clothing.

Two years ago, Latino Angelenos accounted for $1 of every $4 spent in the county.

"If Corporate America is looking to invest in the most dynamic Latino market in the United States, the findings of this study clearly suggest that they should bring their marketing and advertising dollars to the City of Angels," said LALCC Chairman Gilbert Vasquez in a press release. "Latinos in Los Angeles have shown a penchant to spend in key product segments - like children's clothing, food prepared at home and household supplies - to serve their growing families."

Spending Habits

Behind the augmented income is a Latino middle class graduating college in record numbers. Those ages 25 or older with a Bachelor's Degree grew by 134.6 percent from 2000 to 2014. The figures coincide with higher high school graduation rates nationwide, which the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education pegs around 82.3 percent; about 76 percent of Latinos earned diplomas following the 2013-14 school year.

Researchers concluded that better educated Latinos earning better incomes have a trickle-down effect on Los Angeles' economy. When it comes to food, Latinos outspent all other demographics combined by about $2.4 billion; they bought more poultry, beef, and pork than everyone other household, save White households.

The survey found nearly half of entertainment purchases - audio and visual equipment - came from Latinos, to the tune of $1.3 billion. Asian, Black, and other non-White consumers charged about $1 billion.

"Much has been made about Latino spending power throughout the United States," said LALCC CEO Theresa Martinez. "By isolating these numbers in the county, marketers now have a snapshot of Latino consumer buying power in Los Angeles, which we believe is the most important Latino market in the country."

Politicians Marketing to Latinos

Advertising firms aren't the only ones who can potentially benefit for the ever-growing Latino population. Presidential candidates are courting the Hispanic vote like never before, creating bilingual TV ads and courting Latino leaders to endorse them in potential swing states.

Latinos participating in the 2016 presidential election are expected to hit the ballot box in record numbers, particularly in response to proposed immigration reform views shared by Republican candidates.

A USC Dornside/ Los Angeles Times poll released Monday found California Republicans are split on who to vote for, siding with Party front-runner Donald Trump over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by a 37-30 margin.

Immigration, as it is for many Latinos in the Golden State, is a hot topic among those surveyed, though the hardline anti-immigration reform stance has softened over time. About 65 percent said undocumented immigrants should have a chance to stay, compared to 16 percent who said they should leave the country outright.

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