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Another key demographic could help grow boating

As an industry, we’re putting serious emphasis on attracting the growing Hispanic market and we definitely need to be there. But the results of a recent Nielsen survey make a compelling case to also go after Asian-Americans as customers.

According to Nielsen, Asian-Americans have been identified as the most prolific and impulsive buyers in America today. On average, Asian-Americans have household incomes over $100,000, reportedly the highest incomes among minority groups, and they spend it, too.

In 2012, Asian-Americans spent 19 percent more than overall households, the Los Angeles Times recently reported. Moreover, compared with the general population, Asian-Americans make more trips to warehouse clubs and mass merchandisers. But they prefer Costco over Walmart and spend for brand names over generics.

They also go big for online purchases. Some 77 percent cited making an Internet purchase in the last 12 months. That compares with 61 percent in the general population.

Their online affinity should not be surprising. Asian-Americans are digital fans. They reportedly adopt technology advances the fastest of all population segments. That’s why they report higher rates of smartphone usage, consume more online video and boast top-speed Internet connections.

So, just who are Asian-Americans? According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Asian population category includes those who indicated their race(s) as “Asian” or reported being “Asian Indian,” “Chinese,” “Filipino,” “Korean,” “Japanese” and “Vietnamese” or provided some other detailed Asian response.

In 2011, the population of those who call themselves Asian-Americans was estimated at 18.2 million. There was a 46 percent growth of the Asian population between 2000 and 2010, more than any other major race group.

The three largest Asian groups in the country are Chinese at 4 million, Filipinos at 3.4 million and Asian Indians at 3.2 million. These are followed by Vietnamese 1.9 million, Koreans 1.7 million and Japanese 1.3 million.

The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2050, there will be a 161 percent increase or more than 40.6 million Asians living in the country. They will comprise 9.2 percent of the total U.S. population. Moreover, the Asian-American population is already represented throughout the country. However, currently the states with the largest populations are California (5.8 million) and New York (1.7 million).

These latest findings only bolster the case that if we are committed to growing boating, our industry must do more and spend more to appeal to the diversity that is now part of our American makeup.

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