The US Hispanic population is booming. According to the US Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the US grew by 43% between 2000 and 2010, to 50.5 million, or 16.3% of the total population. This group is young, growing, and ethnically diverse.
It’s also online in large numbers. eMarketer estimates that 63% of the US Hispanic population accesses the internet at least monthly this year, rising to 73% by 2015. This group skews young an somewhat male.
“Hispanic internet usage has grown significantly in recent years, as this population uses all types of technology to access the internet,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Hispanics: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches.” “Entertainment, communication and shopping are major activities conducted online, although ecommerce activity still lags the non-Hispanic population.”
Hispanics may not do as much online shopping as some other populations, but they are major users of social networking sites. According to May 2011 data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, two-thirds of online Hispanics use social networking sites, a level that’s slightly above the average rate.
“Social media has a strong appeal for Hispanics in the US, both as a means of communication and, even more significant for younger internet users, for self-expression,” said Phillips. “Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and smaller, more targeted networks like Badoo are all popular with this audience.
“However, Hispanics’ motivation for interacting online shows a distinct cultural aspect, as some experts told eMarketer,” she continued. “Hispanic social media users tend to post more comments, reviews and recommendations online, while non-Hispanic users simply check ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ and move on.”