March 18, 2003, 12:00 AM

U.S. Hispanic population surges online, says comScore

The U.S.-based Hispanic online population exceeds the total online population of Spain. The top 10 U.S. Spanish language web sites reach 91% of those who speak Spanish at home.

Use of the Internet is surging among U.S.-based Hispanics, says comScore Networks – so much so that although the group represents only one-third of the total U.S. Hispanic population, it’s 11% larger than the total online population of Spain and 4% larger than the total online population of Mexico, Argentina and Colombia combined.

 

In January, about 12.4 million U.S. Hispanics accessed the Internet from home, work, or at a university, according to comScore. Time spent and pages viewed by the group are comparable to the total U.S. Internet population. Hispanics averaged 85.9 minutes of online usage per day vs. an average 86.4 minutes by the U.S. online population; while Hispanics viewed an average 122.6 pages per day vs. 120.6 pages by the total population.

 

But comScore’s findings showed striking contrasts between U.S. Hispanic web users and the rest of the U.S. Internet population. Compared to U.S. online users, Hispanics are a much younger group: 60% of them are 34 years or younger, versus 50% for the total U.S. population. While comScore found that U.S. Hispanic online users tended to have lower household incomes than the U.S. Internet population as a whole, compared to the total Hispanic population, Hispanic web users had higher household incomes. The data also show that U.S. Hispanic web users tend to live in larger households, with 39% of them living in households that consist of five or more persons compared to only 18% for all online households.

 

The findings showed considerable reach among the top U.S.-based Spanish language sites. Some 51% of U.S. online Hispanics prefer to use English at home, while 21% prefer Spanish and 27% use both languages. In the Spanish-preferred group, the top 10 Spanish language properties reach more than 91% of Spanish-preferred users in one month.

comScore says its findings shed new light on how broadly marketers will have to stretch online spending to reach a critical mass of those Hispanics who prefer to use Spanish at home – and on the web. “Since Hispanic web users tend to be younger and live in larger households, they are likely to be more comfortable with technology and exercise influence over their family members for purchases. And importantly, they can be efficiently reached through leading web sites,” says Richard Israel, comScore’s vice president of Hispanic marketing solutions.

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