NCDM Speaker: Population Is Growing, Moving

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ORLANDO, FL -- The makeup of the U.S. population changed drastically from 1990 to 2000, John F. Long, chief of the population division of the U.S. Census Bureau, said yesterday.

Speaking at the National Center for Database Marketing winter conference, Long said five major trends emerged from the most recent census:

· Rapid population growth

· Shifting population distribution

· Growing racial, ethnic and cultural diversity

· Changing household types

· Changing economic conditions

The rapid population growth stems from the high birth rate and strong immigration trends, plus the growing population of older people, Long said.

"This is the first decade that every state in the union grew population-wise," he said.

The migration to the South and West is changing. Though still growing rapidly, California, Florida and Texas "are not the big movers that they were in the last decade," he said. "In this decade, the Mountain States and Georgia and the Carolinas have grown rapidly."

Long also discussed the growing Hispanic population, which is the largest minority population in the United States. Hispanics made up 12.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2000 versus 9 percent in 1990. This population is generally younger and is gradually moving into the northern plains and Mountain States, areas that are not traditionally Hispanic.

Also, more Hispanic households have linguistic isolation, Long said, in which the adults do not speak English. In 1990, 2.9 percent of Hispanic households had such isolation, but it rose to 4.4 percent in 2000. To target these households, "you often have to go through the children," he said.

Pamela Kiecker, professor of marketing and executive director of the Interactive Marketing Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, also spoke at the keynote presentation, giving attendees tips on how to use Long's data.

When addressing the Hispanic market, she said, remember that this population is very brand loyal and that marketers should focus on youth, recognize diversity, use geography as well as acculturation, make personal contact and appeal to families.


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