NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/11 -- When it comes to the impact of Latinos on the American economic and cultural landscape, there's only one word that adequately describes the group's influence: growing. According to figures recently released by the Associated Press based on 2010 Census Bureau data, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the past 10 years and crossed a new census population milestone by reaching 50 million -- the equivalent of 1 in 6 Americans. Market research publisher Packaged Facts' Latino Shoppers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends among Hispanic Americans, 8th Edition predicts that Hispanics will be responsible for more than half of the growth in the U.S. population between 2010 and 2015. As a result of above-average population growth and improved earning power over the past three decades, Latinos have been responsible for an ever-increasing share of consumer buying power in the U.S. Packaged Facts estimates that in 2009 Latinos accounted for more than 9% of total buying power, compared to less than 4% in 1980. The buying power of Hispanics exceeded $1 trillion in 2010, and the population includes a significant number of high-income households. With an estimated buying power of $616 billion, Latinos of Mexican heritage represent the single most influential segment of the Hispanic market. By 2015, Packaged Facts forecasts the buying power of the Latino population as a whole will reach $1.3 trillion. "The idea that there's strength in numbers certainly applies to Latinos and what this powerful demographic is poised to achieve over the next several years, especially in regards to the influence Latino consumers will have on retail and how manufacturers market their products," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. Marketers must be aware of how increasing acculturation will affect the decisions of Latino shopping behaviors. Compared to their low-acculturation counterparts, high-acculturation Latinos are much more likely to own credit cards, take out loans and have health and life insurance, according to the report. They are also less influenced by advertising and product placements but are much more alert to in-store promotions. Additionally, they are far more likely to shop and buy online and from catalogs. Packaged Facts further reveals that more education leads to better paying jobs and increasing influence among high-acculturation Latinos, who are more likely than their low-acculturation counterparts to work as managers and professionals, are more likely to own their own homes, and are twice as likely to have a household income of $75,000 or more.