Posted by: sbilingual | September 15, 2011

Three Things to Look for as Hispanic Population Doubles

New census results show more Hispanic people are heading to Louisiana. The 2000 Census Report counted just over 100,000 Hispanic people in the state; the numbers in 2010 reached 193,000.

Respondents were asked to name their cultural or racial background, as in the 2000 census. As a guideline, the Census Bureau said the term “Hispanic” refers to people who trace the origin of their parents or ancestors to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish-speaking Central and South American countries and other Spanish cultures.

Nationwide, the population growth is propelled by a surge in Hispanic births in the US, rather than immigration, which means that these Hispanics will have more influence in matters that affect them. The child population of Hispanics is increasing: this group made up 23 percent of persons under the age of 18 in 2010, compared to 17 percent in 2000.

So how will this massive increase in Hispanics impact your business? Here are some of the things that are likely to happen:

1. Growth in the labor force

Louisiana’s Hispanic population growth was fuelled by an influx of immigrants during the housing boom following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. They came to help with home-reconstruction and to replace roofs, and many ended up staying. This state is one of the nation’s most dynamic regions, and Hispanics are now leading its growth spurt. Companies can prepare for some culture shock, especially as the Hispanics move into communities that haven’t had great numbers of minorities or immigrants in the past.

2. A more diverse population

The influence of the Hispanics can be seen in places as ordinary as the grocery store. Many chain groceries in Louisiana have begun to stock a larger inventory of Hispanic foods, and some communities have their own churches with services being conducted in Spanish. Hispanic medicines and grooming products have also started to appear in stores as this group becomes more settled in the State of Louisiana.

3. An emerging market

Traditionally, Louisiana has not been part of the top ten Hispanic markets by population size, but our Hispanic population is growing exceptionally fast. In order to reach this market, your company may need to come up with advertising material in Spanish, and you may also need to train customer service and sales representatives to be bilingual. Alternatively, you can outsource interpretation and translation to a language services provider such as Bilingual Resources Group

In the Kenner area of New Orleans, a variety of businesses cater to Latinos, from eateries and grocery stores to tax preparers, doctors, lawyers and banks. The increase of the Hispanic populace is also obvious at Kenner’s Hispanic Resource Center, where after-school programs and lessons in English for non-native speakers are rising in popularity. The historic growth in Kenner came as the city’s overall population fell 5 percent, from 70,517 to 66,702.

A 2008 Census Bureau projection anticipated that racial minorities will become the majority in the United States by 2050 and that one in three US residents will be Hispanic by then.


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