THE GRID: BEYOND THE GATEWAYS

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Almost 3 in every 5 Hispanics living in the United States when Census 2000 data was compiled moved between the years 1995 and 2000. Census analysts note that mobility among Hispanics followed different patterns than that of movers of non-Hispanic origin, but the net effect is that 75 percent of Hispanics living in the U.S., live in 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Texas. During the five-year period, Hispanics were more likely than other populations to move from one county to another within the same state — short distances — and far less likely to move longer distances, from state to state.

Characteristics such as educational attainment, in census analysis jargon, “positively relate� to the likelihood of moving long distances. The fact that 2 million Hispanics did move the greater distance — from one state to another — during the five-year period indicates that Hispanics are overcoming some of the educational hurdles. What's more, the census reveals that Hispanics also increased their median household income to $33,600 from $30,700 between 1999 and 2001, a pace faster than the general population. Boston-based financial consultancy Chadwick Martin Bailey, Inc. reported in a late-2003 analysis, “Emerging Wealth Within the Hispanic Market,� that Hispanic households reporting incomes greater than $50,000 have risen to 25 percent from 16 percent in 1999.

When it comes to looking ahead at where Hispanic markets and business opportunities are emerging, most of the attention goes to “Gateway� metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and New York. To get a glimpse at markets that are also on the “caliente� list among destinations for young Hispanics who are moving, we took a look at the second-tier markets. Backing up census data that indicates a Hispanic net migration gain of 256,000 between 1995 and 2000 for the South, Atlanta figures among fast-growing Hispanic market metros. Other metros that are big magnets are Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Portland/Vancouver, Oregon and Washington state.

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