What Is An Upscale Latino?

Leslie Berenstein Rojas on Monday, Feb. 6th

Just what is an upscale Latino? Take a drive through some of the manicured suburban neighborhoods of Downey, Whittier, West Covina or parts of Glendale to get an idea.

Or you can read a new report put together by Packaged Facts titled “Upscale Latino Consumers in the U.S.,” which outlines the financial clout of “the 8.2 million Latino adults living in households with an income of $75,000 or more.” From a summary:

Between 2000 and 2010 the number of Upscale Latino households more than doubled from 1.3 million to 2.9 million, and grew three times faster than the number of non-Latino Upscale Consumer households. Upscale Latino households account for only 21% of all Latino households but now generate 51% of their aggregate income.

With buying power that is expected to reach $680 billion in 2016, Upscale Latinos have an outsize impact on marketing and sales success in the Latino market. Internet marketers and retailers, among others, should place a high priority on reaching out to these shoppers, who account for two-thirds of all Latinos who annually spend $1,000 or more online.

The complete report costs money to download, but since this demographic is of interest not only to marketers but academics, there’s been a fair amount of research on wealthier Latinos lately.

While Latinos and other minorities were disproportionately slammed by the economic downturn, there’s more wealth lurking in middle-class Latino pockets than some might expect. University of Southern California researchers Jody Vallejo and Dowell Myers are some of those who have studied this region’s Latino middle class and its continuing evolution.

Read more about what Vallejo and Myers found at KPCC’s Multi-American.

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