2:00 P.M. EDT
NEW YORK FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, 799 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA, 10TH FLOOR
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and thanks for coming to the New York Foreign Press Center’s briefing on the growing U.S. Hispanic population and its impact on the U.S. economy and business. We have a fantastic panel of briefers for you today. Joining us from Washington, D.C. we have Rakesh Kochhar, who is the Associate Director for Research at the Pew Hispanic Center; and here in person with us in New York, we have Roberto Ruiz, who is the Senior Vice President of the Client Development Group at Univision Communications Inc.; and Lucia Ballas-Traynor, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the online website MamasLatinas.
So before we get started, I just want to go over a few administrative points about how the briefing will work. We’re going to show a short video first, and then we’ll move on to individual presentations. Rakesh will go first. We’ll move over to Roberto and then Lucia, and then we’ll open up the floor for questions.
So with that, you can sit back and relax and enjoy this piece from Univision.
(The video was shown.)
MODERATOR: As you just saw, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is really transforming the landscape in a number of different ways, and that’s what our speakers are going to talk to you about today.
So with that, I’m going to turn it over to Rakesh Kochhar in Washington for his presentation. Also, you all have packets in front of you, so you can follow along the slides during the briefings.
MR. KOCHHAR: Good afternoon, New York. And good afternoon, Washington. I’m Rakesh Kochhar with the Pew Hispanic Center and I’m going to talk today about the U.S. Hispanic population. In the time that I have, I’ll spend a little time on the demographics of this population and a little time on the economic well-being of the population, more or less putting numbers on the visual that you just saw.
You’ll also find a lot of additional information on our website, if you’re interested, not just on demographics and economics but also on things like the – how Latinos view their identity, for example, or what are their role in U.S. elections and what are their attitudes and opinions on a range of social and political issues.
So I will begin with a discussion of the recent growth in the U.S. population and the role of Hispanics and immigrants in that process. I will then demonstrate how Latinos are spreading across the nation, emerging from just a regional presence to a more national presence. Then I will turn to the future. I will talk about our projections for this population through the year 2050 and what the U.S. population will look like 40, 50 years from today in its racial and ethnic composition. And then I will conclude with a review of the economic well-being of this population, focusing on employment and income outcomes.
I should add before I proceed any further that the Pew Research Center, of which I am apart, is strictly nonpartisan and non-advocacy, so I can’t talk about policy. So I’ll have to defer any questions you might have of that nature.
So let me begin. You have a handout, so if you take a look at the first slide in the handout, that just gives you a current snapshot of the U.S. population in the year 2010 as revealed by the U.S. census. And in 2010, which is the second column, the U.S. was home to 309 million people, of which about 51 million – or 16 percent – were Hispanic.
Now, if you look at the change in the U.S. population from the year 2000 to 2010, you will notice an overall increase of 28 million, of which more than half – 15.4 million – was due to Hispanics alone. And in terms of percent growth, overall the U.S. added – grew or increased its population by 10 percent, but the Hispanic population increased 44 percent. So clearly, Hispanics are contributing the majority of the increase in the U.S. population and leading this growth.
The other population that has also increasing in leaps and bounds is the non-Hispanic Asian population. That increased 45 percent in this decade. But in terms of numbers, it remains a fraction of the number of U.S. Hispanics.
What about immigration? I turn to that a little bit because Hispanics are themselves driven by immigration. So of the 28 million increase in the U.S. population – this is the next slide – 19 million was due to native-born U.S. residents and 9 million – or 8.8 million, to be precise – was due to foreign-born individuals or immigration into the United States.
And moving on to the next slide, out of the 8.8 million immigrants that came into the U.S. this decade, more than half – 4.7 million – were Hispanics. And finally, concluding this (inaudible) with the next slide, many who came into the U.S. in this decade were unauthorized. Of the total increase in the foreign-born population of 8.8 million, a little more than 3 million was due to unauthorized immigration alone. During the Q-and-A, we could turn to how this growth has slowed dramatically in the last three to four years, during the recession in particular.
Now, how have Hispanics spread across the United States? I divide the country, or the 50 states in the nation, into three groups. The first group, the first map before you, consists of nine states we describe as core Hispanic states. These are states that have always had large number of Hispanics in absolute number and still have large numbers. In 1990, these nine states had at least 400,000 Hispanic residents each. Not surprisingly, most of them are along the border with Mexico and Central America – so California, Texas, and New Mexico and Arizona, and just to the north you have Colorado, which is home to a lot of Hispanics also.
On the East, you have Florida, which attracts a lot of Cubans and Puerto Ricans, and then Illinois and New York, because of Chicago and New York, traditional destinations for immigrants to the United States.
In the next map is a group of states, 19 in number, described as new Hispanic states. The criterion for belonging to this group of new Hispanic states is that the population of Hispanics in these states, at a minimum, doubled from 1990 to 2010, and in absolute number, the increase in the population was at least 200,000, the increase in the Hispanic population in these states.
You can see that now we’re moving a little bit farther north, away from the border. The most notable feature among these 19 states is the rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic population in what used to be called the Old South – Georgia and North Carolina and Alabama and Tennessee and states like that. So the dynamic is changing in these traditional white/black states to more white, black and Hispanic.
Finally, there are 12 emerging Hispanic states. These are states where you are having very rapid growth in the Hispanic population, at least 200 percent from 1990 to 2010, but in number – absolute number – the growth is less than 200,000. These are now in the middle of the country. You might think of that is the heartland of the United States. So running from far in the north, Minnesota, and farther down to points south – Louisiana, for example, a growth driven by Hurricane Katrina.
The fourth map – put it all together, all these three groups of states, and you’ll see that most of the United States is now represented in some color or the other. So this is what I mean by Hispanics becoming a national presence starting from a regional presence back in the pre-1990 days.
And most of this growth, if you will, has come at the expense of California. The next set of bar charts shows that Hispanics are dispersing from traditional settlement areas into new settlements. In the year 1990, California alone was home to 34 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population. Today, that share is down to 28 percent. And outside of these traditional states, which is California, Texas, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico – outside of these traditional states, the share of the Hispanic population has increased from 14 to 23 percent.
So looking now at the future, our population projections, from the base point of these projections, the midpoint is 2005. These were done before the 2010 census was taken. In 2005, the U.S. was home to 296 million people. And projecting from that, under different immigration scenarios, we believe that the U.S. population in the year 2050 is likely to be 438 million. So from 2005 to 2050, that’s an increase of about 140 million.
What happens if, in this time, the U.S. had shut its borders to immigration? So this is a hypothetical scenario, but if you literally have the perfect seal applied to the borders, what would happen to the U.S. population? And that’s the next slide. Instead of growing to 438 million, under the zero immigration scenario, the U.S. population goes from 296 million to only 321 million, which is an increase 25 million, not 140 million.
So does this mean the additional 115 million is all immigration? No. It is immigration and their children and their grandchildren and so on. But it’s in some way linked to immigration, almost all of the growth in the U.S. population between now and 2050. Within this, the Hispanic population – in the next slide over – increases from 42 million in 2005 to 128 million in the year 2050, which is an increase of 80 million. So 80 million out of 140 million people added to the population by 2050 will be Hispanic.
And finally, the other principal minority population in the United States, the non-Hispanic black population, is projected to increase from 38 to 59 million, or an increase of 20 million only, compared with the 18 million for Hispanics.
So the next slide shows you how the racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population will change. The share Hispanic by the year 2050 – the far-right bar – will be 29 percent and the share non-Hispanic white will be 47 percent. So for the nation at large, that is the point at which we turn majority minority. For the children, that’s already happened, as recently reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Now, I believe – how much time do I have? About – okay, so I’m going to skip a few slides, if you don’t mind, and move on to – this is almost eight slides or so down – (laughter) – to the unemployment rate in the United States. So the U.S.-Hispanic population that is in the U.S. labor force is defined by three main characteristics. It is young, it has very little education relative to the overall population, and because of its immigrant-driven nature, English proficiency is also lacking. So the result is you’ll see historically much higher unemployment rates among Hispanics. And the U.S. Government started keeping data for U.S. Hispanics back in 1973, and every year since then, unemployment among Hispanics has been higher than among non-Hispanics.
But thanks to the construction boom, in 2006 – and this is the unemployment rate slide that focuses on the 2000-to-2011 period – unemployment rates for Hispanics in 2006 were almost as low as the unemployment rates among non-Hispanics, 4.9 percent for Hispanics versus 4.3 percent for non-Hispanics. But the recession, the bursting of the construction bubble, pretty much has put that to rest. Since the recession began, the unemployment rate among Hispanics rose by eight percentage points, and that among non-Hispanics rose five percentage points. So the gap has now been – is back to what it historically has been, setting Hispanics back, thanks to this recession.
And farther along, I have some evidence on poverty rates. These also increased much more for Hispanics during the recession than for non-Hispanics, and household incomes from Hispanics remain well below those of non-Hispanic whites in particular, and roughly matching those of non-Hispanic blacks only.
Thank you. And I will save the rest for Q&A.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much Rakesh. Now we’re going to turn it over to Roberto Ruiz from Univision Communications.
MR. RUIZ: Sure. And we’re talking about this (inaudible) labeled a Hispanic opportunity. Thank you, Rakesh; that was great. That was a great setup for my talk here. I’m going to go kind of fast on the first part because Rakesh already covered that. The population, over 50 million and growing. Just interesting facts for you coming from foreign countries: At 50 million, the Hispanic population is now larger than the population of Spain. So if you look at Hispanics in the U.S., it’s sort of the second-largest Spanish speaking country after Mexico.
If you look at the next slide, the one with the big red arrow, and this is something – sometimes that data of 16 percent of the total population for Hispanics is misleading because it’s only 16 percent, that’s true, but look at the growth between 2010 and 2020 – 100 percent of the adults 18-to-49 growth. So when you’re looking at the economic side of this equation, you’re looking at corporations and brands that are targeting consumers for their products. Well, the 18-to-49 sort of demographic group is the group that is at the peak of their consumption cycle, and the Hispanic – Hispanics accounted for 100 percent of adults 18 to 49, 85 percent of men 18 to 34, 91 percent of women 18 to 34, and 100 percent of the men 18 to 24.
So don’t look only at the snapshot of 16 percent; look at what’s going on with the growth and where it’s coming from. And you’ll see when Lucia gives her talk about women, 22 percent of moms with children in this country are Latinas.
Rakesh covered this, so I will go fast. But the Hispanic growth is not limited to the traditional states that you’ve seen. It’s been expanding to other non-traditional states.
The next slide – he Hispanic population is younger. I think that’s that – of every 30 seconds, two non-Hispanics hit retirement age and one Hispanic turns 18. It goes back to the point I made before of this young population driving consumption of a lot of goods and services, and that is why we at Univision – and I’ll speak very little about us, but we’re right now the fifth-largest network – TV network in this country. Not the fifth-largest in Spanish; the fifth largest overall. So any – if you look at people watching on any given night – and on many Fridays, we are the number on network. It’s given this composition of a younger population – 34 percent are under 18, but half of them are between are between 18 to 49. And look at that little stat: 53 percent of the growth of the population is going to come from Hispanics over the next decade.
In terms of spending power, even though we heard about lower average household income, that is changing and Hispanics – there is less percentage of Hispanics now under the $35,000 on the 35 and under and a higher percentage in the middle class. So there is progress. Obviously, yes, Hispanics were hard hit by the recession. But there is also higher disposable income, is something we’re seeing. For example, Hispanic market has a higher amount of renters, so people are not as financially challenged. Taking on debt is something that is culturally not as appealing to Hispanics as the non-Hispanics. So for example, we’re seeing right now in the automobile market how Hispanics are really driving the growth in the auto segment.
There’s also a lot of the Hispanic market that lives on a predominantly cash society, so it’s relatively hard to really accurately track income. There is some evidence that Hispanics under-represent income, so we have to take those income stats with a grain of salt.
The next slide, we tried to, given the international flavor in the room, to contrast the U.S.-Hispanic consumer per capita income and compare it to the BRIC countries because we hear a lot about Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and the per capita income of U.S. Hispanics is higher than three out of four of the BRIC countries, so higher than Russia, than China, India, and Brazil, per capita – not Russia, but – so we tell many corporations, well, you’re spending a lot of time and resources in places like Canada; what are you doing with the U.S. Hispanic market which is as important or even larger opportunity?
And when we look at the stats that Rakesh shown and that I’ve shown here, you’re seeing that there is a large number of Hispanics born in the United States. However, the number of Spanish language speakers in the U.S. continues to grow. This thinking that is sometimes seen out there that the Hispanics are in this country and with time we’re all going to become Americanized and not speak any more Spanish, it’s wrong. It’s – the evidence suggests that, as you saw in the video, we are living in what we call the new American reality, which is a dual world.
And the key thinking here is that by taking on another culture, we don’t necessarily have to let go of the Hispanic culture. So the cool aspect of this, what we call acculturating as opposed to acculturation, is that you can have two cultures and use them at the same time. So right now I can be here as a very sort of Americanized person, and then I can go home and I can be watching the news in Spanish and talking Spanish to my kids. And we can grab either one of these cultures at any given time.
So in the next slide we say that Spanish is really a choice, not a necessity. As you can see, 60 percent of the Hispanic population – and this is according to Nielsen, who tracks – who has a really representative sample of the population, given that they track TV ratings, and 59 percent of the Hispanics are bilingual. If you add the bilingual plus the ones that speak only Spanish, 85 percent of Hispanics in this country speak Spanish. And Spanish is a key element of culture that people want to retain.
If we look at the next slide, we’re talking about some evidence of culture sustainability. And this came from a recent report from Nielsen called The State of the Hispanic Consumer. It’s actually on the Nielsen website and it’s a pretty recent – it was released two weeks ago. I encourage you to take a look because it’s a very comprehensive review of the Hispanic market.
But as you can see qualitatively now, so Rakesh gave us the quantitative; now qualitatively you see that 31 percent of Hispanic adults say they want to be more Latino. Ninety percent of Hispanic parents want their children to be bilingual. And it’s kind of obvious that bilingualism offers economic advantages. It’s – you can find a job easier. And when you have two cultures, you’re just a more well-rounded individual. You can use different cultural cues for different situations. Sixty percent of Hispanic adults say they want to be bicultural. Contrast to many years ago when immigration – immigrants came here and they wanted to lose their accent, and they never kept in touch with their original culture. This is a completely different world now where it’s completely – not only acceptable but it’s a plus to be bilingual and bicultural.
And that last snippet there, 72 percent of intermarried couples classified their children as Hispanic in 2011, versus 35 percent in ’91. I think it’s a very telling sign of people accepting their biculturalism.
In the next slide, we’re just – given that the elections are right around the corner, we jumped a little bit into Hispanics as a political force. Avery significant increase of Hispanics are registered to vote. There was the 3 million newly registered Hispanic voters since the last election, so 14.4 million Hispanics registered to vote. I’m sure you may have seen that Time magazine “Yo Decido,” or “I Decide ” issue of why Latinos will pick the next president. But almost – both sides, Republicans and Democrats, are aware and have said publicly – either David Axelrod or Ed Gillespie – people from – high representative of each party saying that the Hispanic voter will be a defining factor in this upcoming election.
And look at the key states for this election. Florida is a major one, but they say even Arizona could be in play. New Mexico, Nevada, all of the swing states, the Hispanics will play a very important role.
I’ll finish up by talking a little bit about Univision, just why we’re here. Univision is the sort of the largest network reaching Hispanics and Latinos in this country. We have an array of two – a couple of TV networks: Univision and Telefutura; a cable network, Galavision, which was to be run by Lucia, and she founded – one of the (inaudible). We also have the largest Spanish language website, Univision.com, as well as a mobile operation. And then a sort of other networks on cable, one of a – Novellas (ph). We recently launched a sports, and we announced a partnership with ABC News where we are going to launch the first 24-hour news channel for Latinos in partnership with ABC.
MR. RUIZ: I think it’s in the end of the summer, beginning of the fall.
Next slide very quickly, what I said – we are the fifth largest network. And this is done on broadcast prime time but on many, many nights, actually last year, we – in – on 180 nights of the year we beat NBC. So many nights we’re the number one and many nights we’re the number four. It speaks to the power of Univision to reach Latinos in this country. A lot of those Latinos, 67 percent, are on unduplicated, meaning they are not watching any other networks on that page. So a lot of our viewers watch Univision exclusively.
So I hope this – it’s been an interesting window into the Latino and Hispanic world. By the way, Hispanics accept both terms. Hispanic is more accepted than Latinos, but it’s okay. I’m going to leave you with Lucia, and then we’re going to questions. Thank you.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: Great. So I’m going to delve a little deeper into the insights and less about the numbers, but I think there’s one factor that I think is also key in terms of when people talk about Latinos are just going to blend into the American culture. I think it was last week that it was announced that now 51 percent, or the majority, of births in this country are coming from multi-cultural kids. And we’ve seen studies that part of what allows us to acculturate and can preserve our culture is how the host country reacts to one. So the more multicultural this nation becomes and the more accepting it is of other cultures, I think what’s going to happen is actually Latinos are going to be even more proud of their roots.
So a little bit of my background: I actually joined Hispanic before it was even cool in this country, and I joined Univision. I spent 17 years there. I became the general manager of Galavision. And then I had a really neat job that my kids cried when I left, which was working for MTV and launching a Hispanic channel for youth. And then most recently, I was the publisher of People en Espanol, and then I’ve been with this new company for about a year. I joined Cafemom, which is the number one destination online for moms. And I launched a Latina offering.
And what’s interesting in terms of these media brands and why they would launch separate channels and invest all this money on separate channels when you’ve got a population that’s part of the country and part of the mainstream, especially when they speak English, when I joined MTV and they asked me that question, I said, “Are you willing to put Juanes on heavy rotation? Are you willing to put some of the Latin artists on heavy rotation?” They’re like, “Mmm. That would probably alienate the core.” And that’s when I think they came to realization that you really do need a separate destination unless you’re willing to play Latin artists and Spanish and mix it up the way our population consumes Hispanic media.
So there’s different ways to go about it, and we’re seeing this from marketers. One way, and Univision has a lot of content that they import from Mexico, although there’s also a lot of U.S. production. There’s many countries that are starting to, in fact, bring over brands like Bimbo, which are very – that have a lot of distribution, a very powerful equity in – back in their countries, and they bring it here.
Another approach is what we took with MTV. MTV was all about importing to Latin America, exporting pop culture from America. Well, that wouldn’t really be resonant here. So what we did here is we created a lot of music programming that actually draws from both cultures, and it mirrors the way a lot of our playlists probably are, which is a little bit of the Latin and the American tunes. With People en Espanol, as an example, what we’ve done is we concentrate on the Hispanic celebrities – it is in Spanish – but also the American celebrities that are highly resonant with Latinos here.
With Cafemom, I joined Cafemom about, as I said, a year ago. And really there, we are doing something that’s very different in the marketplace. And we launched a site that’s bilingual and bicultural, and I’ll talk a little bit about the approach to language. But most sites that exist today for Latinos are either in Spanish or English or you click a button and it’s translated. And we’re actually more about the culture rather than the language, and I’ll go a little bit into that.
So slide four talks to the power of this demo. You see 16 percent of the country, but the reality is when you start delving deeper into the demos, with mamas, it’s 20 to 25 percent. With the kids, it could be 50 percent. One – in L.A., one of every two kids born today is of Hispanic origin.
So it really depends on the demo that you are going after. So we launched this online destination because marketers said: You’ve got this amazing platform. Why don’t you create something that’s resonant with the Latinas? And we launched January 23rd, and again, it has to do with this powerful demo.
So if you look at slide six, it goes back to kind of that MTV question, right? So here you are a bilingual site. You’ve got all these women that, in essence, have the same issues that a typical mom would have. So what makes her unique, especially if she’s English dominant or going back and forth? And what we’ve seen is, really, for Latinas, you’ve got an added complexity. So here you have the modern American woman who’s been probably juggling different roles for 10 years already. You’ve got now the Latina who’s just starting to kind of enter the workforce, many of them for the first time. But in addition to juggling all these different roles, she’s got this whole balancing act with the cultural – the two cultural realities that she lives in. And this is something that’s very prominent.
So when we asked our moms, like, you if you could identify your four top challenges, what would they be, one of them is this whole juggling act of the culture, the work/life balance, the new roles that she’s playing. The other is the support or lack of from their mate. So one of the things that is cultural is that if you are going to be juggling many roles and your roles are evolving, you really need that macho to support you. And sometimes, they’re kind of on board. Sometimes, they’re not. And as she’s becoming more economically empowered, that’s another aspect that she deals with that perhaps American women don’t.
The other is economic empowerment. She is – although they have lower education, lower income, they are so aspirational and they are being more economically empowered, but they really need guidance. So we have a whole channel that – a vertical that talks about money and finance.
So what’s been interesting, I’ve been in this space for close to 30 years and a lot of insights on Latina women. And part of it is therapeutic for me because I honestly look at these insights. I’m like, now I know that after living in this country for 30 years, marrying a gringo, like, I’m different. And what’s interesting is we go on this site and I go on into the conversations, and as much as Latinas have evolved, they’re actually very traditional compared to American women in their mothering styles. Here they become key decision makers in terms of their role in the family, but yet they’re more traditional in their approach.
Now going back to the points about what’s fueling this growth and what has changed since I joined this – the market is that before, it was primarily immigration. Now, it’s U.S. births. So imagine here’s this Latina, a traditional Latina. She gives birth to this American little baby, who wants to be independent thinking. And she is not about respeto and she’s falta respeto, which is lacking respect, and everything that we believe in as a Latina. So here you are struggling. Like, how do I raise this kid to think she’s independent-thinking and everything that American women and morals stand for, yet continue to retain our values and traditions?
So what we have found is that it – on our site, whether it’s content or community, the topics in the areas that keep coming up have – relate back to these insights, but the difference between the foreign-born Latina that’s more Spanish speaking is she continues to live in this informational void. So whether it’s the elections or anything else, you need to start from scratch. You need to introduce yourself – who are you – because they’re new to the country. We were talking about the political candidates. It’s like don’t go out there and start pitching your platform already because they don’t even know who you are, while the bicultural Latina or the more acculturated Latina might have certain perceptions around you but – about you but she already probably knows who you are, but know that her issues and what impacts her is different. So she’s culturally unique.
And going back to that bicultural reality, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this kind of complicated chart, but the reality is: I’ve been here for 30 years, and in certain respects, I’m highly acculturated. A lot of people don’t even know that I’m originally from Chile, but in certain areas of my life, even work, I actually have to kind of switch my mode and say, “Okay, Lucia. You didn’t grow up thinking this way, so in the worker role, I actually have to behave more American.” And I many times need guidance.
As a mom, what we’re finding is that mom is actually, again, in fluctuation. She needs guidance; she’s raising kids in American system; she needs to find out how to crack that system, navigate the system. And this is where social media and a community of moms who she trusts and are living her experiences serve as her sort of sounding boards.
So just to highlight some of the conversations on page nine that we highlight to advertisers – because again, the question comes back: Oh, if she’s speaking English, she’s just like others. And there was this whole conversation around sleepovers. And I don’t know about other countries, but in Latin America, you don’t do sleepovers. That’s just a no-no. So imagine you come to America and everybody’s sleeping over, right? And you got the Latina traditional moms are like, “I don’t care if she cries all day. She is not going to sleep over.”
That insight, it’s really interesting to marketers because I think they realize: Oh my God. But she said it in English? Oh, yeah. She said that in English, and she’s not doing the sleepover. They are very culturally unique and they retain these values. The other is: Man, Latinas, they used to slave for a whole day cooking because for them, food is love, and that’s how they showed that they cared. But you know what? Now that they’re doing multiple things, you know what? The slow cooker, which is really an American device, all the sudden, they’re like, “You know what? If it’s going to cut down on my time, I’m going to use that.” But then she goes online and she can’t find Latin recipes. So we’ve been very successful at how do we, again, incorporate the convenience and everything about American culture and we give her the (inaudible) for the slow cooker.
And parenting style. Again, this is the area – you know what? Americans are very systematic, very formulaic. It’s like, oh my God, you read the book on the How to Put – 10 Steps on Putting the Baby to Sleep? Latinas are like, “You know what? You just leave her there, you smack her a little bit, and she goes to sleep.” Well, we provide her with, again, information on those steps.
So some of the stories that have been very resonant, you talked about the stories. Anything that features Latinos in Spanish on the cover of Time magazine is fantastic. Anything that’s about how do I eat healthier because I’ve been – I’ve grown up with all this fatty kind of diet, but give me the baby steps does extremely well. And then you start seeing whether it’s in Spanish or English, that you know what? The reality is they are culturally unique, from the stories that resonate.
What we have found is because the site is available in both languages, if you choose – or one or the other, 61 percent or more are choosing to get content in both languages. So again, going back to the bicultural, bilingual consumption – how am I doing on time? I have just a couple of more slides.
The other – and this very interesting. We – most of our staff is bilingual, but what we have found is that certain writers, their voice just is more culturally relevant in Spanish or English. So I’ll give you an example. There was a story also on timing (ph) about four out of 10 women in this country are now the breadwinners of the family. So when we assign the stories, the Hispanic-dominant woman who speaks all Spanish, but she’s very traditional, she’s like, “You know what? That’s not resonating with me. My husband makes more than me. The majority of my friends, they make more.” And then the English-dominant Latina, she’s like, “Oh. My husband stays at home and I’m okay with it.” So we decided to actually assign this same story to two different editors and writers because their perspective and their experiences were so different. So our content is actually not just a translation, but relevant to those particular segments.
So just in terms of early leanings, like, do you really need to invest all of this money in creating a separate destination? We’re finding that we are. Our numbers already are through the roof after just three months. She is culturally unique and she trusts others who are going through her experience. And there’s such distinct differences between the less acculturated and the more acculturated. And the cultural passion points – food, parenting styles, beauty, and other passion points really define her. And topics like healthy eating and everything that we hear about in general market news is something that’s new to her.
And that’s about it. I feel like I rushed through that but I got through it. (Laughter.)
MODERATOR: A lot of information from all three of our briefers. So we’re going to open the floor to questions. Please remember to state your name and media organization and wait for the mike so that our briefer in D.C. can also hear your question.
Before we go to questions, I just want to remind you that whenever we have speakers from the private sector, the views expressed are their own and do not reflect U.S. Government policy. With that, we’ll open it up to questions. And please remember to direct your questions specifically if you want Rakesh to answer so he can hear you in D.C. and answer the question. Thanks.
QUESTION: Thank you. My name is Junichi Kitasei. I’m working for a Japanese TV network called TV Asahi. I have a question for Roberto, Univision. You have mentioned about the – this all-news channel you decided to create with ABC News. Why you decided to do it in the English language rather than Hispanic? And what kind of program you are thinking of? How different your program would be from other news channels? Thank you.
MR. RUIZ: Sure. Thank you. We already are in – the leader, absolute leader in news in Spanish in this space. So in many markets – L.A., New York – our news programs are the number one in the market, sometimes regardless of language. So we realize it’s not an or English or Spanish; it’s an and. We want to make sure that we are providing the best information for our viewers in Spanish and in English. And what we realize is the same thing we said before, is people are living in this bilingual, bicultural world. So you have to make sure you are serving your consumers in their choice, so we’re offering both.
The key here is really not the language. The key is something Lucia mentioned, which is cultural fluency. Maybe 60 percent of our viewers on any given moment are bilingual. They’re not watching our content because it’s in Spanish; they’re watching it because they care about this content. So whereas on any given night on NBC News, the lead story could be that Lindsay Lohan did something. Our lead story may be something about immigration or something about what’s going on in Mexico. So what we’re giving our consumers is what is relevant for them, and we’re going to do that in English too.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: Can I answer that from a consumer perspective, just --
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: So Chile had this huge earthquake, and after two days, like, all American news stopped coverage on the earthquake. And I had to actually subscribe to a package of news from Latin America in order to get the news. Immigration is not covered the way it is because they’re – it’s not as – of a key issue for Americans as it is for Latinos. And I’m English-dominant; I don’t necessarily watch Univision except for news, so I think it merits a separate destination that’s just going to deliver the news that we care about.
MODERATOR: Can we have a questioner in – at the podium in D.C.? Why don’t we go to D.C. Make sure your mike is unmuted.
QUESTION: Hi, thanks for doing this. My name is Kathleen Gomes. I’m the U.S. correspondent for a Portuguese daily newspaper called Publico. Given that this is an election year here in the United States, I’d like to ask you something with regards to that. There’s this notion usually that the Democrats are on the right side of this demographic evolution because Latinos are growing and they tend to vote in the Democratic Party.
My question is: Is that actually true? Because – can we actually say that the vast majority of Latinos identify themselves with the Democratic Party, given that they also tend to be – that’s my impression, at least. They also tend to be sometimes more socially conservative perhaps than the Democratic Party, more religious. What are your thoughts on that? And this is a question for all three. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Who would like to start?
MR. RUIZ: I can start. We’re doing some – we’ve done some polls this year, and while there – it’s true that there is a larger percentage of Latinos registered, Democrat versus registered Republican, you will find – and in our website, by the way, www.univision.net, we have a whole section on consumer insights and there are a whole section there on politics and the election, which has very interesting info on this – you will find that Latinos tend to vote for candidates as opposed to vote for parties. So while there are more registered Democrats, there is – I don’t want to quote – misquote the number, but I think it’s 47 percent of Latino registered voters that are soft. There are some leading Democrat, there are some leading Republicans, but they’re not decided. So there’s ample opportunity for both parties to appeal to these sort of soft voters that are not yet decided.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: So just to piggyback on that and the fact that it is about candidates but it’s also about – do – and this is very mom-specific. Cafe Mom actually created a whole platform called Moms Matter, and what they found is that many of the candidates had a complete disconnect with the issues that affect moms. And right now, it is about job creation. For Latinas, it’s about affordable daycare. So for them, beyond the candidates and does the candidate understand and relate to my issues, it’s about her specific issues.
When I was at MTV, we conducted a poll that was actually very – it was an awakening for me because we conducted a poll with general market youth versus Hispanic youth. And for general market youth, immigration was not among their top 10 issues, while with youth in Hispanic – and not all of them, obviously even – many of them have undocumented members of their family or extended family – it was among the top five. And that’s when you realize it’s about the candidates, the issues, and do they really understand what my issues are as a mom and everyday regular person.
MODERATOR: Rakesh, you have something to add, I think?
MR. KOCHHAR: Yes, a couple of small points. We also have a lot of information on Latino voters, numbers, how they voted and so on. And I won’t get very specific because I may misspeak the exact statistic, but it you look at presidential elections, the answer is yes, they voted Democratic. It has varied over time. I think George Bush scored the highest share of Latino voters, but that was in the 40-some percent. So it’s never been majority Republican, so I think that’s why people say they lean this way or that way, but as just pointed out, the issues they care about are not stereotypical Latino issues. They are really general issues like education and health and economics and so on, which are traditional voter issues. And which they lean, of course, also varies by state. So there are no answers to this.
QUESTION: Hi. I’m Idoya Noain. I’m from El Periodico from Spain. I have two questions. How do you think having, for example, Marco Rubio as the vice presidential can affect, even if they vote for the candidate – like a milestone for the Hispanic community? Maybe – do you think some people can vote yes for that milestone?
And second, there was this sociologic theory that the first generation of immigrants is still very linked to the country, the second tries to get away to assimilate better, and the third goes back to their roots. Do you see that that is being broken, like there’s not the gap anymore, it has changed? Like the second generation tends to break and the third goes back, has that trend been broken? Thank you.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: So there’s a sociologist – I think his name is Robert Suro – and it was very interesting because he actually – and this was a couple of years ago – he saw that Latinos were retro acculturating at actually a younger age. So instead of 16, they were – at 14 and 12, they were retro acculturating or going back to their roots. And that’s why I go back to my earlier point, which is it so much depends on the host country. If you feel like there’s tolerance and you feel welcome and of diversity and the fact that you can express Latino pride, I think you’ll be more open to that retro acculturating.
And that’s a little bit about – you know that chart that I shared with you? What we’re finding is regardless of generations, there are certain generations – and there are so many factors that affect it. How close are you to your roots? Do you go back to your countries of origin? Are both of your parents of Hispanic origin? There’s so much. But now with technology, there is more opportunity to establish those cultural connections.
But what we’re finding is even a woman who was born in this country, in certain roles she’s very Latina. So when it comes to the food category – is a great category – they’re finding that all these marketers are having to either change their product lineups a bit or – Cheerios with honey resonates more with Latinos because even though they want the healthy cereals, they want kind of the sugary taste. I mean, who’s to know whether that’s going to change in the future? But I think there’s a lot of factors that are probably promoting retro acculturation at an earlier age and allowing Latinos to preserve and retain their culture for more generations.
On the Marco Rubio, he can answer it. (Laughter.)
MR. RUIZ: No, I want to answer that. On that topic, I’ll just encourage you – we just published a piece of research in partnership with Advertising Age on millennials and a connection to the culture. And we found that two-thirds of millennials have a medium-to- strong connection to the culture. And it well explained that we created a sort of statistical deviser called Cultural Connection Index to sort of understand what you’re saying, and we found – it’s what Lucia is saying. In the U.S., there’s a very welcoming environment to keep your culture, even go back to your culture, because the cultural cues are everywhere and it’s very easy now to keep in touch with the culture via Skyping your family in another country or the Latin music or Latin sports stars. The Latin influence in everywhere, so it is very – it’s almost unavoidable.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: And on the Marco Rubio, this is not statistical. I can tell you it will make a difference because he’s Latino, regardless of who he’s pairing up with. But he’s Latino. Therefore he will, I think, make a difference.
QUESTION: Tom Deptula from Polish Newsweek. I got couple of questions. I don’t know to whom (inaudible) like who will be shooting. The first one is: You’re talking about Latino culture or Spanish culture as a generic category. That’s – I mean that’s – it’s – you’re coming from many different countries and I can’t imagine how people from, let’s say, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, have so much in common to form one ethnic group. It would be like, if you go to Europe, putting Germans, Swiss, Austrians, and Luxembourg people together and treating them as one group. So you probably see inner tensions and in a difference between those inside that Latino group, and how do you cope with it or how do you – what to do? What do you do as a group to – I don’t know – to appease it?
And the second question is, it’s about the future but soon enough later it will come up as a problem, a problem of bilingualism – this country. It’s – do you see it in – maybe in 10, 20 years you’ll have here a very big discussion about making this country officially bilingual, like Canada, for example?
MR. RUIZ: Wow. Those are fantastic –
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: Wow. I’m going to address the first question because I had a really neat experience yesterday. I was in our community as a host of one of our groups called Deva (ph) Musica (inaudible), TV Music and (inaudible). And we were supposed to confess our secret obsession, and I have a secret obsession about creating playlists. So I shared my music and all this, and I’ll tell you what was the most surprising insight that I came out with: how many Mexicans were talking about Prince Royce and Dominican music. And one mom talked about this Prince Royce – a new song that has mariachi in it. And they were all so excited to learn about the musics from the different countries and to share this.
And this is similar to an experience we recently had in the food (inaudible). I don’t know if this is representative of other – if it’s the same with males or – but I am telling you, Latinas just say: I am so fortunate to live in this country where, unlike our countries of origin, you’re kind of eating the – whatever the Chilean (inaudible) would be and not necessarily exposed to the tostones. This is happening when it comes to culture. They’re fusing these cultures and they are so proud of it. So that’s – in terms of that.
On the bilingual, one of the issues that I’m finding with moms is they are having issues with their kids speaking Spanish. I just yesterday – one of the Mexican moms posted and she’s like, “Today, we had the biggest fight with my daughter because she refuses to speak Spanish.” So I think it’s not that Spanish is going away; it’s just that as – what’s fueling the growth in this country is English; the Spanish is not going to be as pure. They’re not going to be speaking it the way perhaps we spoke it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going away because when you go to that coffee shop and you ask for cafesito (ph) and you make that connection with a Latino, even if he doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish, it’s still there and it’s used for that cultural connection. But it’s going to be a different form of Spanish.
MR. RUIZ: I’ll just add a couple things, and I love your comparison to Europe. The difference is that in this country, all of us Latinos from Chile, Venezuela, wherever we come from, are in the same country. And by being in the same country, it forces us to fuse together and you end here learning from cultures from all over the place.
The one glue binding all of that is, to some extent, the language. Language is a key element in culture and allows people to connect emotionally. When you see somebody speaking Spanish, you felt – you feel an emotional connection. And besides, I mean, we did some research on this, and the aspects of culture that people want to retain are always the respect for the elders, the language, the traditions – Hispanic traditions, be it celebration Quinceanera or Easter or whatever.
So there are more similarities between (inaudible) Latinos than differences. Not to say that we don’t have our differences with the with the Argentineans, Cubans, Mexicans, et cetera, especially when it comes to soccer. (Laughter.) But there is way more things in common than you can find differences.
And with respect to the bilingual nation, I don’t see why we – and I think we’re already a bilingual nation, and I think that what makes this country great is that – is freedom. And the fact there in the Constitution it doesn’t say what is the official language of the United States, because it doesn’t need to. I always have this argument with my son about – he says, “Well, we should make English the official language.” And I say, “Why should we?” If – people know that if they want to get ahead, they want to learn English. So aren’t we believers in the free market? Well, the free market is going to make people be interested in English, right? So it’s going to happen. I don’t think that we need to regulate any of those things.
QUESTION: Hi. Sherwin Bryce-Pease, South African Broadcasting. So far this discussion has been very warm and fuzzy, and that’s great. We’ve talked about the economics and how marketers and brands are changing and shifting due to the changing dynamics in this country. But if you look at these stories around the world – for example, North Africans trying to get to Europe, for example – these are not very positive stories. So I wonder what the current majority’s view is of this takeover, if you will, because it is changing, and it seems to be out of their control. So is there a welcoming sense in the United States to this change, to this shift? Which, as you’ve just spoken about – this notion that Spanish could become the second official language here is very real. How are you being received?
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: Yeah, I think that’s an excellent point, and I mean, I also listen to the stories of discrimination and segregation, and there’s a quote that comes to mind of a 14 year-old girl who was growing up in East L.A. who said, “I feel like a foreigner in my own country.” I think there is a lot of that as you go into the older generations. But let me tell you, as you go into youth – and I take my – where I live in my neighborhood in New Rochelle, New York as an example of the integration.
And my son – I always share this story – my son, who is this – whiter than his father, his four best friends are all African American of different – of descent. And I remember one day sitting down, I said, “Look, honey, I have no issues with it, but why is it that all your four best friends are all African American?” He’s like, “Mom, because they’re funnier,” they’re this, and I just – “they’re more athletic.” He doesn’t see color. And that’s the way the newest generations are growing up. So again, it goes back to the more multicultural this nation becomes, the more that’s the mainstream. That’s really the mainstream. It’s not the whites – the non-Hispanic whites are already becoming that minority. So I think that is changing.
And the other factor is 56 percent of the growth in this country is coming from Latinos. We have no choice, right? It’s like they’re the ones that are – as America grays, they’re the ones that are going to be putting – inserting those IDs into your – so they have to be educated. And that’s really the biggest challenge is if they’re low-skilled, if they’re uneducated or undereducated, that’s really the challenge for this country.
QUESTION: Hi. Elizabeth Mora, Colombia. I have a question. My question is that almost 50 percent of our kids, they don’t finish high school, and 35 percent of them are in jail. What we could do?
MR. RUIZ: We actually recently started a huge initiative called Es el Momento to encourage Hispanics to – Es el Momento (inaudible). So this is the time. It is the time. And we have a whole online and TV and grassroots initiative to use the power of our media to encourage and have the Hispanics of this country understand the importance of education. So we’re not unaware of what you’ve mentioned, and we’re trying to do, from our point of view, whatever can be done to put our little contribution to this.
But it is a challenge, and I think – I go back to – I wanted to ask – these two questions – the last two questions are related because there is this tension with the immigration. And if you look back at history, any time there’s been huge recessions – I was reading a book on 1933’s and the big recession, and if you read what was written there about Italian Americans, it’s not very different from what is written now in some places about the impact of Hispanics: They’re taking over jobs, they’re littering on the streets, whatever.
So hopefully as the economy improves, these things will improve, the rising tide will lift our boats. But we at Univision are very, very aware of the challenges in education and are working to make that better.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: I can tell you that the figures that have come out recently is that there’s been an increase in terms of graduation rates, and especially among women. And I’ll tell you what’s going on, and this is from the dynamics in terms of the conversations that are taking place in our community. There is this mom who had been here for a year, a typical Mexican immigrant, low education, and her daughter, she noticed that she wasn’t processing information correctly. And I happened to answer the post. I have a son with special needs, and I said, “Senora, do you know that in America we have something called Early Intervention where the government funds special education at two and a half years old even though she’s not in school?” She had no idea that this existed.
So you’ve got the foreign-born population that’s raising a more educated young population. They’re intimidated. Many of them don’t go to the schools to attend because they’re intimidated by the system or they’re working two jobs, they don’t have time, et cetera. So I think what you’ll see more and more is this younger population and the ones that have cracked the American system are reaching out to the foreign-born and supporting them. And that’s what MamasLatinas is all about. It’s like, how do we encourage this communication and creative support to help these women navigate the system? So I really am very confident that those stats – and they’re already improving.
QUESTION: Thank you. Mexican news agency. I have two questions. Do you think there’s a trend in the companies that provide products and contents to the Latino community to differentiate, as you said, Lucia, between the Latinos who identify themselves basically as Latinos and speak mainly in Spanish and between the people who think of themselves as bicultural?
And the second question is: Do you think there’s a risk that these people that doesn’t integrate fully, that they’re still speaking Spanish and so on, could live in this bubble of uneducated people and holding their old values, of domestic violence, for example, and machismo, and so on? Do you think there’s a risk of that, of these people like – that are – could be left behind in this kind of social development? Thank you.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: Go ahead, because I’m hogging up the conversation.
MR. RUIZ: I think all of the – everybody that’s – to your first question of whether we are specifically addressing the people that’s decided to speak Spanish, as I said before, 60 or more percent of our audience at any given time is bilingual. So in my concept and this trying to separate the Hispanics in this country by Spanish-only or bilingual, it’s very tricky, because the reality is either if you are born here, like my kids, and you learn your culture from your parents or you came from another country, say Mexico, the day you start your life in this country, you’re already bicultural. Now, are you 1 percent bicultural or 25 percent – and where’s the bicultural meter? Are you going to put it on the person and it’s going to register? As we said before, it depends on the circumstance. You can be – you can change your cultural attachment depending on the circumstance.
So we are addressing the needs in information, entertainment of Hispanics regardless of where they are on that continuum. I think it’s very hard to live here and not be influenced by the culture. So the pockets of really Spanish-only groups are miniscule, really miniscule. We have – less than 10 percent of Hispanics in this country only speak Spanish. And that’s the ones that tell you that. And I contend that it’s even less if you dig deeper.
So – and again, I am a firm believer – I’m an economist by nature, and I’m a firm believer in incentives. There is too many incentives to understand the culture and understand the language and adopt both cultures, because that’s what’s going to get you ahead. And the nature of the immigrant mindset is you left your country, or your parents left their country, to find a better life. So it’s a self-selecting mechanism. Immigrants are already people that take risks, that are looking for something better. And in that quest, they are going to be learning new things.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: On question one, on the marketers, it varies by marketer and it varies by category. So there’s a handful of marketers – P&G is an example of a best class, very deep investment in Hispanic. They don’t necessarily have segment – nobody does segmentation by acculturation, but they actually do address both segments, the less acculturated in Spanish and the more acculturated in English or both. Then you’ve got marketers – and I’m not going to share who, but I was next to the CMO of a Fortune 500 company last week in the Midwest, and I turned to him and I said, “Do you know much of your new consumers are coming from Hispanic, what the growth is?” And he said, “What, 15, 20 percent?” I said, “No, 56 percent.”
And one of the comments that I made is – and I get asked all the time, like, when it is that Latinos will have sort of fair representation at corporations? And I said when they come out of the construction, transportation, and invisible markets and they’re seated here making decisions and seated at the board. That’s going to take a couple or a few generations, which goes back to your other point. And I totally agree with Roberto. The what we called isolated Hispanic homes is probably 10 percent. They came to this country to give their kids a better future, so it’s really all about, as dismal as some of the statistics are, it’s all headed in the right direction because of their drive.
QUESTION: I would like to have a question to that, to a better future. My name is Angela Hennersdorf. I’m with Business Week Germany. And it’s actually a question to Rakesh, who was saying that the unemployment rate is huge and it’s – the gap between the non-Hispanics and the Hispanic people is very huge. And I would like to know if he sees that gap in the future as well. And what does that mean for this country? Because as we know, as you explained, most of the Hispanics are doing their (inaudible). We have to admit that. And if this unemployment rate is growing in this kind of area of jobs, where the jobs are going – are fewer and fewer, what does it mean to this country and to the Hispanic and the future of the Hispanics in this country?
MODERATOR: Let’s go to Washington to Rakesh Kochhar. Then we’ll come back to New York.
MR. KOCHHAR: I can’t predict. Economic predictions are tricky enough, and then to translate them to economic predictions by race and ethnicity is even harder. But as long as the Hispanic population or the Hispanic worker displays characteristics that put you on the more vulnerable side, so less educated or less skilled, which we have seen recently because a lot of the incoming labor supply has been on the undocumented side, driven by blue collar work, construction and so on. You’ll see that gap. You’ll see that Hispanic unemployment rate is higher than non-Hispanic unemployment rates.
But if you the divide by nativity, if you look at how native-born Hispanics are doing, if you look at their outcomes and compare them to the rest of the population, then they’re not better than the rest of the population, but they’re certainly better than how foreign-born Hispanics look. And if you go back to the discussion a little bit earlier about education, there’s a tremendous gap between the second generation of Hispanics and the first generation of Hispanics. There are big differences in high school completion, in college enrollment, and so on.
So the trends are heading in the right direction. If you at look at native-born Hispanics, what sort of jobs they are doing, they resemble more than U.S. population than foreign-born Hispanics do who are overwhelmingly concentrated in construction and repair and maintenance occupations and that sort of work.
So what happens in the future is an open question. I really don’t have an answer. But if you think that the current divides between – based on nativity are some sort of predictor, then the – probably as more and more of this population will turn native-born, you should see some convergence.
MR. RUIZ: (Inaudible.) One of your studies also recently indicated that Latinos were faster in finding a job after – or when the economy turned around. So there is also good news in terms of the versatility of this population to find another job, to take two jobs of lesser pay, but keep employed. I think I read that in a Pew report.
MS. BALLAS-TRAYNOR: I just have to add, keep an eye on women, because women are outpacing men on entering professional occupations, business creation, higher levels of education, graduation. That’s going to change all the dynamics, even among Latino households.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Okay. I think we have time for one more question, because we’re talking a lot here, so anybody else? Okay.
QUESTION: I wanted to know, because apart from a social issue, immigration, it’s a political issue. I mean, states like Arizona or Alabama, and we have the Supreme Court – I don’t know if for a corporation like Univision, for example, I know it’s a big corporation and nothing speaks like success in this country, but for example, working, getting advertisers in a state where there’s more tension, more political tension, if you see it, if you feel it, like –
MR. RUIZ: We’ll, it’s certainly been a dominant theme in the last couple of years. However, for our advertisers, they are interested in Hispanic consumers as consumers. So at the end of the day, regardless of your status in this country, you need to go to the supermarket. You need services. And what we try to do is be a sort of an unbiased source of information on what’s going on, bring all points of view. And I don’t think we’ve seen a direct impact. I mean, Arizona was impacted as a whole. I mean, the economy there is just not in great shape, but that affected everybody. I don’t think that we felt anything particularly strong because of the immigration debate over there.
MODERATOR: Please join me in thanking all of our briefers, Rakesh Kochhar in Washington, Roberto Ruiz and Lucia Ballas-Traynor here in New York. Thank you very much for your time today.
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