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Arizona Hispanics expected to spend $42.5 billion in state this year

The 2.1 million Hispanics in Arizona prefer to shop at Walmart and love fresh food, smartphones, going out to dinner and owning their own businesses. Their favorite mall in Tucson is Tucson Mall.

And their overall spending is expected to add up to an estimated $42.5 billion this year in Arizona and to grow at about $2.2 billion a year.

Those are among the details found in the latest “DATOS: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market” report from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Phoenix. The report is designed to suggest additional services and products that Hispanics need. “Datos” is the Spanish word for data.

The 328-page report includes everything from what type of groceries Hispanics like to their political leanings, median incomes and home ownership. The data comes from a variety of sources and surveys, including the U.S. Census.

About 37 percent of Tucson’s population, or about 383,500 people, were Hispanic in 2015.  Hispanics tripled in Arizona between 1990 and 2015 to 2.1 million. The majority of K-12 students in Arizona are predicted to be Hispanic by 2020, said the report, which has been issued annually for 20 years.

Monica Villalobos, vice president of the chamber and editor of the report for the past five years, said the biggest surprise in that time was that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew 70 percent between 2007 and 2012 in Arizona to 89,673. That figure is estimated to be 123,000 now. The number of businesses owned by Hispanic women increased 116 percent.

That is partly because of an “irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit,” found in many Latin countries and cultures and partly because Hispanics have been unable to get jobs and were almost forced to start their own economy, she said.

In 2012 the U.S. Census estimated 90,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona contributed $10 billion to the Arizona economy, she said.

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“If those Hispanic-owned businesses made as much as non minority businesses,  you would be looking at an additional $36 billion in the Arizona economy. So the resources to help Hispanic and minority owned bus scale their business is absolutely critical in Arizona.”

The report offers no clues as to how Hispanics will vote and whether greater numbers will go to the polls in the Nov. 8 election. It said that last year, 42 percent of Arizona Hispanics registered as Democrats, 41 percent as Independents and 16 percent as Republicans. Thirteen percent of Arizona voters in 2012 were Hispanics. 

Other highlights:

  • While 64 percent of their vehicles are 15 years old or older, in the first quarter of 2016, Hispanics bought 28 percent of all new vehicles in Tucson, contributing about $75.6 million to the local economy.
  • Phoenix ranked fifth for smartphone penetration among Hispanics (86 percent) in first quarter of 2016. Denver was first with 93%. In Tucson, 76 percent of Hispanics owned smart phones.
  • Arizona Hispanics are more likely than Hispanics overall in the country to own homes. Fifty three percent of Arizona Hispanics own homes, compared with 45 percent nationwide. In 2010, almost 100,000 owned homes in Pima county (99,911).In 2014,  57 percent were employed in Tucson, compared with 59 percent in 2007.
  •  Their choice for top department store in Tucson (based on the percent of Hispanics who visited in the last three months in January 2016) was  Walmart, 86.4 percent, followed by 99Cents Only, 55.6 percent; Family Dollar, 54 percent and Dollar Tree, 53.6 percent Target was next with 51.7 percent.
  • Their choice for malls is Tucson Mall, 51.6 percent; Park Place, 44 percent and El Con , 42 percent. Although Tucson Spectrum is the closest to Nogales, it was visited by only 35.6 percent. Higher end La Encantada was visited by only 8.7 percent;
  • Their preferred clothing store in Tucson is also Walmart, 62.5 percent, followed by JCPenney, 27.9 percent. They are more likely to shop for clothes and shoes than non-Hispanics.
  • Arizona Hispanics use mobile devices more than average users, an average of  658 minutes a month, compared with an average of 510 minutes for all consumers, according to Nielsen Mobile Insights.
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