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They’ve got the power: Hispanic women are a new power factor not only for the Latino community but also for the U.S. economy, according a new report released today by Nielsen.

The report shows the increasing influence of Latinas in the U.S. because of their will to improve their educational pursuits and career development.

Latinas are outpacing Latino males and continue to be overwhelmingly the decision-makers in household spending. But not only that: Hispanic women have surpassed the proportion of non-Hispanic white families with children, and through their youth and increased incomes, they have gained significant consumer power, leading them to be actively courted by marketers.

The most prominent points

  • Latinas’ embrace of culture and language is salient, in that over the past decade, bilingual language has held steady.
  • Latinas in the U.S. are expanding their purchasing power. They are rapidly catching up with or exceeding Hispanic males and non-Hispanic females in big ticket purchasing, and say they are the primary decision makers in their households, making them pivotal to the Hispanic market’s $1.2 trillion in annual buying power.
  • Consumer power: The consumer behavior of Latinas in the U.S. distinctively varies from that of other American females. Some of the high levels of purchasing by Latinas are associated with the needs of their larger families or cultural nuances — many food categories, oral hygiene products, bottled water, detergent, and paper products, for example.
  • Latinas cultivate connectivity. Focused on strong shifts toward an increasingly balanced bicultural milieu, Latinas are adopting and adapting all types of technology at a higher pace than U.S. females. In significant areas, Latinas in the U.S. are outpacing society in using technology for culturally-centered social networking. Personal technology has found an ideal fit with Latinas’ propensity to be connected, to communicate, and to investigate ways for improving their and their families’ wellbeing.
  • For many Latinas, personal technology and social networking are enabling the maintenance and recovery of ethnic culture, language and traditions. This takes place domestically as Latinas in the U.S. build affinity groups around their ethnicity and their common trajectories within American society, as well as internationally as they create robust connections with relatives and friends in their countries of origin.

Latinas in the U.S. are the ‘key growth engine’ of U.S. female population

Hispanic women are a key growth engine of the U.S. female population and are expected to become 30 percent of the total female population by 2060, while the non-Hispanic white female population is expected to drop to 43 percent. By 2060, there will be no single dominant ethnic group, instead the female (and total) population will be comprised of a diverse ethnic plurality where Latinas play a sizeable role.

Latinas in the U.S. are both the guardians of Latino culture and advocates of change. There is a perception that men have the proclivity towards gadgets, but it is really the Latina who inspires technology adoption, driven by her rising education, income and role as super mom.

Consumer power, especially with technology

Latinas in the U.S. are discovering the benefits of untethered entertainment and savoring a multitude of mobile activities at rates consistently and sizably ahead of non-Hispanic white females. Online Latinas are more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to own smartphones at 77 percent (vs 55 percent). Latinas seem to be bypassing laptops and desktops in favor of mobile technology.She is creating her own digital persona. Today’s Latinas are using their mobile devices to connect media, entertainment, brands and family. She has taken multi-tasking to a new level by increasing her connectivity with television and digital communications, often simultaneously and on multiple screens.

Mobile devices allow greater personalization and give Latinas the integrated systems they need to connect with family, their personal networks and information and entertainment options. Latinas are quick to adopt new capabilities like mobile banking, shopping and price comparisons.

Moreover, social networking is used by 56 percent of Latinas who share information among their connected communities in the U.S. and Latin America. Forty-four percent of Latinas use apps on their mobile devices, 40 percent GPS and 37 percent streaming audio.

Click to read the whole report.