All Eyes on the Census

Over the upcoming weeks, we should plan to see much attention focused on the results of the 2010 Census. The U.S. Census Bureau has and will continue to release results on a state by state basis. A recent AP video (below) addresses the 2010 Census and the estimates that indicate a significant rise in ethnic populations, especially among Latinos.

For those of us that work in Hispanic marketing, we will be eagerly anticipating these results. Dr. Filepe Korzenny, author and director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University, has stated that the 2010 Census numbers indicating the total number of Hispanic in the U.S. should be revealing, even though there are issues in counting individuals that do not have documents or who simply do not wish to be counted. Korzenny anticipates the official number of Latinos living in the U.S. will most likely be around 50 million.

Here in West Michigan (Grand Rapids and the surrounding lake shore areas), we are also anticipating the results. Although Michigan has seen a decline in overall population (presumably due to high unemployment rates), we can expect to see a rise in Hispanic population numbers. Carlos Sanchez, executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, predicts that certain municipalities in West Michigan may find their Latino populations up to 18% or more of the total population. Although that percentage may seem low compared to Hispanic dominant regions like Southern California and the Southwest, it is still influential enough to warrant attention from marketers. A 2003 study found that areas in U.S. that have not traditionally been associated with high Latino populations were beginning to see noticeable influxes of Hispanics moving in. In addition, within states like Michigan that have lost in congressional reapportionment, Latinos accounted for 75% of the population growth. We can only expect these trends to continue into the future.

For now, keep watching the incoming Census numbers and expect to see more news about how these results will continue to influence our nation and regions.

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