Asians and Hispanics powering U.S. growth, says UGA study

Asians and Hispanics are the key engine of economic growth now, according to a University of Georgia study.

Those two groups account for $2 trillion of the nation’s $13.5 trillion buying power this year, according to the report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at UGA.

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Total buying power is up 213 percent in the past quarter-century and that growth is partly due to an increasingly diverse nation, wrote Jeff Humphreys, Selig Center’s director.

Consumers account for more than two-thirds of the total economy and Hispanics and Asians provide economic fuel for the future, he said.

“The Asian and Hispanic markets will really drive the U.S. consumer market,” Humphreys said. “Those two groups will account for a disproportionate amount of growth. The African-American market will still expand at a rate that’s compelling, but the Asian and Hispanic markets are where you see the really fast-paced growth.”

The Hispanic market in the United States this year 2015 will be $1.3 trillion, which is larger than the GDP of Mexico, and will reach $1.7 trillion in 2020, Humphreys said.

The Asian market will be $1.1 trillion in 2020.

The “Multicultural Economy” report, which Humphreys has been preparing for 24 years, predicts that African-American buying power will be $1.4 trillion in 2020.

Cheryl Russell, a demographer and author of the Demo Memo blog, writes that in the past year the number of households headed by blacks  grew 2.8 percent, as did the number headed by Asians. Hispanic households increased 0.9 percent, she wrote, in an analysis of Census Bureau data.

According to Russell, the rough breakdown of national households by ethnicity is as follows (the numbers are rounded off and the percentages include multiple ethnicities, so they don’t add exactly to 100 percent):

Total: 124.6 million  (100.0%)
Asian: 6.3 million  (5.1%)
Black: 17.2 million  (13.8%)
Hispanic: 16.2 million  (13.0%)
Non-Hispanic White: 84.2 million (67.6%)

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