February 2009: Volume 144

The Changing Face of America
Pawan J. Mehra
Ameredia, Inc: Multicultural | Advertising | Marketing | Public Relations

We all are awed by the racial diversity of this country and this beautiful city by the bay. Did you know that San Francisco is 30.84 percent Asian and 14.1 percent Hispanic (U.S. Census 2000)? Add other ethnic groups and this city becomes one of the most diverse cities in the country.

The racial face of America is changing being mostly driven by higher birth rates among immigrants and influx of foreign residents. Here are some interesting facts and features to ponder when you are developing your next advertising, marketing and communication strategies for general market clients.

The U.S. Census projected last year that the minorities, now comprising roughly one-third of the American population, would become the majority by 2042. By 2050, the minority population is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total US population of 439 million. Non- Hispanic Whites will comprise 46 percent of the total population in 2050, down from 66 percent in 2008.

Children are projected to reach that milestone even earlier with the minority children population projected to be above 50% of the total U.S. children population by 2023.

The Hispanic population is projected to nearly triple during the 2008-2050 period, from 46.7 million to 132.8 million. Its share of the total U.S. population is projected to double from 15 percent to 30 percent which means by 2050 one in roughly three U.S. residents will be a Hispanic.

The Black population is projected to increase from 41.1 million to 65.7 million comprising 15 percent of the total U.S population in 2050 as compared to 14 percent in 2008 – just one percent increase in its total share of the U.S. population.

The Asian population is projected to increase from 15.5 million in 2008 to 40.6 million in 2050. Its share of the total U.S. population will rise from 5.1 percent to 9.2 percent during the 2008-2050 period, almost doubling its total share of the U.S. population by 2050.

The number of people who identify themselves as two or more races is projected to more than triple, from 5.2 million to 16.2 million. This multiracial population will comprise 4 percent of the total U.S. population by 2050. Because of this racial and ethnic change in the nation, the way people report their race by 2050 will also be quite different from how race is reported now in the U.S. Census.

The growing diversity of the nation has created new opportunities and challenges for marketers. Most communities are most comfortable communicating in their native language or being bilingual making it imperative for markets to create advertising and messaging that appeals to these diverse groups.

The Limited English Proficiency (LEP), also known as language dependency, of some ethnic groups is quite high. Around 21.5 percent of the U.S. population above 18 years of age speaks a language other than English at home. This has resulted in the proliferation of ethnic media that caters to the unique in-language communication needs of these groups.

To effectively market to multicultural communities, marketers must go beyond translation and instead focus on transcreation – a culturally relevant translation and customization of a creative. Each concept should carefully adapt into the targeted language and culture ensuring its sound relevance and appeal.

Creative copy and imagery should be tailored to the ethnic group and the demographic being marketed. All translations should be managed by qualified translators that specialize in that specific industry and demographic segment. The end result is impeccable multicultural marketing campaigns that delivers positive results to clients. Ameredia has taken on this marketing approach and, in spite of the current economic downturn, has grown consistently in the market, thanks to the healthy growth rates being generated for our clients from ethnic segments. As the face of America changes and becomes more diverse it is important for multicultural advertising agencies to position themselves to manage this transition and take America’s message to the new ethnic majorities.

If all this sounds interesting, check out some multicultural demographics and facts on our site:



There’s much more on our website and we are always happy to answer any specific questions from you.

Pawan J Mehra is a partner at Ameredia and can be reached at
. Ameredia was started with the vision of
enabling American organizations communicate and market to the fast growing multicultural communities in the nation. Its interesting to note that on any given day our teams are thinking and conceptualizing creative, media and marketing strategies in more than 20 major languages.

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