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ProfitWise News and Views, October 2006
Consumption Trends of the U.S. Hispanic Population from 1980-2003

Between 1980 and 2003, the number of Hispanics in the United States increased dramatically from 14.6 million to 39.2 million. As a proportion of the national population, the share of Hispanics more than doubled from 6 percent to nearly 14 percent during this period. Projections from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate this trend will continue well into the future: Hispanics are expected to comprise 20.1 percent of the U.S. population, or 73.1 million individuals, by 2030. In addition to being a huge source of population growth, Hispanics have also been playing an increasingly important role in national consumer spending. Expenditures by Hispanics accounted for only 6.3 percent of aggregate spending in 1980, compared to 9.2 percent by 2003. Notably, growth in expenditures by this group is not keeping pace with its population increase, but Hispanics are playing a growing role in national consumer spending. These data beg the question: how have expenditure patterns of Hispanic households changed over the period? Related to this, how do the expenditure patterns of Hispanics differ from those of the rest of the U.S. population, and have such differences converged or widened over the years? This article provides insight on these issues.

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