Original URL: http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/newsbyid.asp?id=7723

Study Finds Wide Issue Differences Between Hispanics and Non-Hispanics

October 31, 2002

NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The AOL Time Warner Foundation and PEOPLE En Espaņol today announced the results of their joint national Hispanic Opinion Tracker (HOT)(TM) Study, one of the largest national surveys ever comparing views of Hispanics and non-Hispanics.

The study shows that Hispanics continue to embrace their own families, heritage and identity as they become an increasing force in American life.

The survey was conducted by the Cheskin Group, a leading national firm for research into multicultural communities with 20 years of experience in Hispanic surveys.

Cheskin surveyed 6,000 respondents nationwide on topics from the serious to the routine, from fear of terrorism to favorite movie genres. PEOPLE En Espaņol has undertaken the study since 1999.

Overall, the survey found 95 percent of Hispanic respondents backing bilingual education, even as two states consider ballot initiatives this year to curtail the practice. Sixty-nine percent of Hispanics said they speak Spanish at home, and 62 percent said they prefer speaking Spanish to English.

At the same time, Hispanic respondents were focused on routes to success in America, and view education as critical. Eighty-seven percent said "education is the key to my child's success," and 64 percent said that they "wish they could have stayed in school longer" compared to 31 percent of non-Hispanics.

The survey's responses on national issues also showed disparities. Overall, it found Hispanics continuing to identify themselves largely as Democrats, 53 percent vs.17 percent Republican. In addition, there are anywhere from 25 to 50 point gaps between Hispanics and Non-Hispanics on key national issues.

-- Seventy-three percent of Hispanics rated "allocating funds for building affordable housing" extremely or very important, while only 39 percent of non-Hispanics rated it as such.

-- Seventy percent of Hispanics said "appointing a Hispanic/Minority to the U.S. Supreme Court" was extremely or very important, versus only 22 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- Sixty-four percent of Hispanic respondents rated "providing an AIDS relief package to Latin American countries" as extremely or very important, against only 16 percent of non-Hispanics.

As a group, Hispanics also had strongly held views on public policy issues that relate to protecting their children and families. For example:

-- Eighty-one percent of Hispanics rated "childcare assistance" as extremely or very important, versus 35 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- Sixty-five percent of Hispanics said the same of "assist impoverished countries" versus 10 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- "Gun control" was rated extremely or very important by 71 percent of Hispanics versus 36 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- "After school programs" - 74 percent Hispanic versus 39 percent non-Hispanic.

-- "Police-community relations" - 84 percent Hispanic versus 57 percent non-Hispanic.

-- Forty-four percent of Hispanic respondents said that drug use was the "most widespread challenge facing youth in the United States today."

Lisa Quiroz, Publisher of PEOPLE En Espaņol, said, "We created the HOT study because there was a tremendous need for research within the Hispanic market. We are currently in our third year and the study continues to provide the magazine and its advertisers with an in-depth look into this burgeoning market. The past success of the HOT study has inspired the AOL Time Warner Foundation and six other AOLTW divisions to partner with us this year. As we've expanded the survey, we've grown to see the study has value as an important snapshot of Hispanic-Americans as a whole."

Kathy Bushkin, Senior Vice President, AOL Time Warner and President, AOL Time Warner Foundation, said, "Hispanics are such a strong and influential community that it's essential for us to better understand the values that they hold dear. And it's clear from the study that Hispanics are holding fast to their traditions while working for a successful future for their children."

Cheskin Co-Founder Felipe Korzenny said, "What's particularly interesting about this study is it shows how much Hispanics are developing a unique identity in America. We are keeping to our roots while branching out - retaining our unique flavor in the American salad bowl of diversity."

Maintaining Hispanic Identity and Aspirations

The HOT(TM) study contains other findings supporting the important link between Hispanic identity and family and heritage:

-- Sixty-seven percent of Hispanic respondents said they preferred to be identified as "Hispanic, Hispanic-American, or Hispano/a," rather than Latino/a.

-- Seventy-nine percent said they'd prefer to spend time with their families if they had an extra half-hour a day, versus 57 percent of non-Hispanics.

Hispanics are also striving to achieve greater success in America, and believe work and education are the keys.

-- When asked if they would retire if they won the lottery, only 21 percent of Hispanic respondents said yes, versus 41 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- Hispanics rated Doctor and Lawyer as the most desirable professions for their children.

Hispanics More Responsive to Media Messages

The study found that Hispanics are more responsive to, and less cynical of, advertising messages than non-Hispanics. Advertising in Spanish particularly drives positive responses from Hispanics.

-- Fifty-two percent of Hispanics responded that they preferred advertising in Spanish.

-- Twenty-four percent of Hispanics surveyed said they strongly agree with the statement "magazine advertising gives me good ideas of what to buy," versus only 8 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- Fourteen percent of Hispanics strongly agree with the statement "I often make purchasing decisions based on advertising," versus 4 percent of non-Hispanics.

"Our research proves that there is an immediate need for advertisers to target this ever-expanding market," said PEOPLE En Espaņol's Quiroz. "We are confident that the HOT Study findings will help facilitate this process."

Obstacles to Success Remain

At the same time that Hispanics are striving for their children and believe in the opportunities that America has to offer, real obstacles for achieving success remain.

-- Average income for Hispanics in the study was 38 percent less than non-Hispanics ($34,942 vs. $55,949).

-- Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic respondents said they have health insurance, versus 86 percent of non-Hispanics.

-- There is a 20-point difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanics on owning a computer (50 percent vs. 71 percent) and having Internet access (31 percent vs. 52 percent).

Kathy Bushkin added, "We'll use the information in this survey to help strengthen our existing programs and to create new initiatives that help young people all over the country have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed in the 21st Century."

About the HOT(TM) Study

The survey was conducted between June and August of 2002 via bilingual telephone interviews among 6,000 U.S. adults. Four-thousand Hispanics were randomly chosen from Hispanic surnames and 2000 non-Hispanics randomly dialed. Demographic and qualifying incidence questions were asked of all respondents, followed by a breakout of one of 10 modules among sub-samples of 600-650 respondents.

Interviews averaged between 20 and 30 minutes. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent, while each module has a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.

Source: Copyright (C) 2002 Business Wire. All Rights Reserved.


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