Middle-aged, mid-scale income Hispanic families living mainly within US border cities
Concentrated in cities along the Mexican border, Nuevo Horizons are the largest concentration of Hispanic households in the nation. More than 95 percent of the households are Hispanic, and they’re mostly middle-aged Mexican immigrants in search of a better life. Two-thirds of the households consist of families, typically with teenage children. One-fifth contains multi- generational families often living in overcrowded conditions. The vast majority of residents have little education - three-quarters are high school dropouts - and work as poorly paid laborers or service-sector workers. Because of the multiple workers within their households, the household income is over $38,000 - far above the U.S. poverty line and a striking improvement over the standard of living in their former country.
Despite the low incomes, nearly all of Nuevo Horizons own their homes. These residences tend to be ranch houses and mobile homes located in downscale, industrial parts of cities. Though most households have multiple vehicles, they tend to be older trucks and low-end sedans parked in fenced-in yards and driveways. Even though these foreign-born people have been at the same residence for more than five years, nearly two-thirds say that Spanish is the predominant language spoken at home. In their homes and vehicles, they’re more than five times as likely to listen to Tejano music - more than any other segment.
Many households in Nuevo Horizons struggle to make ends meet. However, they can afford a wide range of leisure activities available near their neighborhoods. At night, they go to bars, billiards halls and dance clubs. They like to play sports at nearby parks and ball fields: soccer, baseball and basketball are all popular. Many travel to Mexico every few years to visit family and friends. They have the cash to buy toys, TVs and DVD players to entertain their families. Many women like the latest fashions, but they stretch their budgets by going to stores like Dollar General and Big Lots. They often lack credit and debit cards and pay for everything with cash.
Nuevo Horizons are traditionalists when it comes to media - and that means traditional Spanish media as well. They like to watch Spanish-language movies, talk shows and novellas on TV, and read Spanish entertainment and fashion magazines. Their favorite media channel is the radio, which provides them with urban, Mexican and Tejano music throughout the day. They’re less likely to use the Internet, but younger members of these families do go online to write fan fiction and visit social networking sites. They also use the Internet like one big classifieds section to track down jobs, car parts and mobile phones.
Nuevo Horizons have strong family values. They’re religious, hard-working and ambitious. Despite the barriers of language and education, they say that they want to advance to the top of their careers and, by the way, make a lot of money. They’re not very political - a large percentage is not registered to vote - and their views are mostly moderate. Tough on crime and drugs, worried about the environment and an immigrant backlash, they just want an honest shot at the American dream.
With the nation’s highest concentration of Hispanic households, Nuevo Horizons are middle- aged, economically-challenged families; two-thirds are married couples with children, and the highest concentration of kids is teenagers. Nearly one in five households is multi-generational, consisting of young adults and aged parents. Most of the adults have low educations - nearly three-quarters never finished high school - and low-paying jobs as laborers and farm workers. About 20 percent of households contain a homemaker, and one in eight contains someone out of work - higher than the national average.
Nuevo Horizons typically live in border communities throughout the South and Southwest, with nearly three-quarters living in Texas and California. More than 95 percent own a single-family home, though the average housing value is not much more than $90,000 and often consists of ranch houses built before 1960 as well as mobile homes; the rate for mobile home ownership is double the national average. While their homes may be located in older industrial areas within earshot of railroad tracks and factories, many are well on their way to paying off their mortgages. Indeed, almost all have been at the same residence for over a decade.
In their downscale urban neighborhoods, Nuevo Horizons make do with low-key lifestyles. For nightlife they go to bars, nightclubs, billiards halls and dance performances. Hoping for a quick financial hit, these folks like to gamble and go to casinos, bingo halls and lottery ticket terminals. With their older kids at home, this is an athletic segment, where members play basketball, baseball, soccer and football. A significant portion is also into boxing, karate, skateboarding and in-line skating. At home, these households make a strong audience for reading comics and gaming magazines.
Given the Hispanic immigrant backgrounds of Nuevo Horizons, it’s no surprise that they frequently travel abroad. They’re a third more likely than average Americans to have visited a foreign country in the last three years, and for many that involved a trip to their home country, Mexico. There’s not a lot of cash to stay at hotels or resorts; many stay with family and friends. They also don’t patronize fancy restaurants. While they tell researchers that they like healthy foods and count calories, these households frequent fast-food chains like Jack-in-the-Box, El Pollo Loco, Del Taco and Church’s Fried Chicken.
As consumers, Nuevo Horizons find joy of consumption and a need for status recognition. They read fashion magazines, like to experiment with style and claim they’re the first among their friends to check out new fashions. Despite their budget constraints, they patronize a range of clothing stores, from discounters like Big Lots and Ross Dress for Less to upscale retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Dillard’s. They make a strong market for toys and games, but only a modest one for electronics. With many commuting to work, they tend to own older, used trucks and low-end sedans - both domestic and imports. Among the popular nameplates are Nissan, Mitsubishi, Plymouth and Chevrolet.
With their long work days and fondness for nightlife, this segment has only modest interest in media consumption. For many, radio is their chief form of entertainment, especially stations that play Tejano music, which they listen to at rates more than five times the national average. With nearly two-thirds of households speaking mostly Spanish at home, they’re less likely to enjoy English-speaking newspapers, magazines, TV or the Internet. However, they read Spanish entertainment magazines, as well as watch Spanish-language movies, talk shows and primetime novellas. But they like their music bilingual.
Nuevo Horizons are family-oriented and religious. They like to indulge their kids with material goods and admit that they find it difficult to say “no” to them. The adults like to spend quiet evenings at home and go to church services on Sunday. They claim that they’re happy with their settled lifestyles, though they wish they were doing better so their family would think they’re more successful.
Self-described workaholics, Nuevo Horizons have ambitions to get to the top. They’re willing to give up family time to advance, and they don’t mind taking risks to achieve their goals. They say it’s more important to do your duty than enjoy life, and their value system is borne of hard work and diligence: if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying.
Nuevo Horizons are mostly apolitical - they’re a third less likely than the U.S. average to be registered to vote - and have a below-average tendency for joining the major parties. Those who are politically involved tend to be Democrats, but their views aren’t entirely liberal. In their rough neighborhoods, they’re tough on crime. They’re also interested in other cultures and tolerant of their customs. Despite their long hours at work, they’re willing to volunteer for a good community cause.
In many respects, Nuevo Horizons are off the mainstream financial grid. They’re 75 percent less likely than average Americans to own any investments, and they’re uncomfortable trusting their money to a bank. Thanks to multiple earners in the household, they report incomes of over $38,000, but with so many paying off mortgages their already tight budgets are stretched to the limit. Yet, surprisingly, these households are only a little less likely than average to say that they feel financially secure - no doubt in part because many left behind a much worse financial situation in their home countries. Some have taken out small personal loans and auto loans, but many concede that they know nothing about finances. In this segment, where few members own credit cards or any kind of insurance, it’s a cash-only economy.
With their modest incomes and educations, Nuevo Horizons represent only a moderate market for digital media. Compared to the general population, they’re less than half as likely to use the Internet. Those that do are more likely to access the Internet at a library or the school where their children attend. They typically go online for the content; they visit bulletin boards, listen to podcasts, watch video and search for jobs, mobile phones and auto parts to keep their older cars operating. Some go online to gamble or participate in fan-fiction creation. Others have discovered social networking and go to Myspace and Facebook. However, this is a segment where digital technology is still on their wish list, and they’re 50 percent more likely than average to state that they plan to add online services in the next year.