Multicultural Marketing

Key Facts for Marketing in the Los Angeles DMA

More than 92% of the total population growth in the United States from 2000 to 2014 came from multicultural segments and, according to the Census Bureau, by 2060 64% of the population will be multicultural. The trend seems unstoppable, making diversity America’s true destiny.

If 2060 seems a long way off to warrant action by marketers today, consider that population changes are already happening right now in cities, counties, and Designated Market Areas (DMA) around the country. Did you know that 21 of the 25 most populated counties in the U.S. are already multicultural majorities? Here is the list:


If you have plans to grow or penetrate DMAs like Los Angeles, Chicago, or Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (just to mention a few) you probably have already been tweaking your General Market strategies to make your message more relevant and inclusive of multicultural and minority segments. But what happens when minorities are no longer minorities? What would you change in your marketing strategy to acknowledge the new reality? It will surely require some rethinking and testing, as each DMA is different.

For example, when analyzing the population of the Los Angeles DMA, you can see that four of its seven counties are within the 25 most populated counties in the U.S. Los Angeles County has 73% of the multicultural population, while San Bernardino County accounts for 70%, Riverside County 63%, and Orange County 59%. The other three counties that make up the Los Angeles DMA didn’t make the list. However, both Kern and Ventura counties have 65% and 54% of the multicultural population respectively and just one of them, Inyo County, is 64% White alone, not Hispanic or Latino.

Today, the Los Angeles DMA is already a good representation of what we’ll see in 43 years since its population is 60% multicultural majority. This means that whether your marketing objective is to grow the Multicultural segment, or just grow your business as a whole, in the Los Angeles DMA it is just as beneficial to know more about the facts shaping the DMA.

Population Profile

Let’s dive into Los Angeles DMA Census Bureau data from July 1, 2015:

  • The estimated population within the Los Angeles DMA was 19,580,199 – representing 50% of the CA state population and 6% of the entire U.S. population. From 2010 to 2015, the population grew 4% – at a similar pace of total US population (4%) and about 1 percent point lower than CA population (5%).
  • The Los Angeles DMA has equal representation of female and male population (50%-50%) with 25% of the DMA population being 18 years old or younger and 14% over 65 years of age. Figures are very similar to California (23% and 13% respectively) and US (23% and 15% respectively).
  • The Los Angeles DMA has 7% of persons under 5 years old, while CA and US account for 6%.
  • The White population alone (not Hispanic or Latino) in the Los Angeles DMA represents 40% of the population. This figure is 2 percentage points over CA (38%) and 22 percentage points under the U.S. as a whole (62%).

Key Takeaway: The Los Angeles DMA skews younger and multicultural segments are driving the population growth. The White population is shrinking at a faster pace than the General Market.


Let’s find out more about the largest multicultural segments in this DMA:

  • Hispanics represent 43% of the total Los Angeles DMA population, over-indexing CA (39%) and total U.S. (18%). They are mainly Mexican descendants, with a lower incidence of Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Puerto Rican.
  • Asians account for 9% of the total Los Angeles DMA population, 6 percentage points below CA (15%) and 3 percentage points higher than U.S. Asian population (6%). The primary countries of origin are the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
  • African Americans are the 3rd largest segment, making up 5% of the Los Angeles DMA population. This is below CA’s average (7%) and far under the total U.S. African American population (13%).
  • 23% of the population in the Los Angeles DMA, from 2011 to 2015, was foreign born – with Los Angeles and Orange Counties leading the trend. This figure is 10 percentage points higher than the number of the US foreign-born persons (13%) and is lower than CA (27%). Los Angeles County residents hail from more than 140 different countries of origin.
  • 40% of the Los Angeles DMA population 5 years and older speak a language other than English at home, compared with CA (44%) and total U.S. (21%.) Among Hispanics, Spanish is the primary language and approximately 3 out of every 10 Hispanics in the DMA speak Spanish. Additionally, 30% of Asians are not fluent in English and nearly 60% are bilingual.

Key Takeaway: The Hispanic population is the largest segment among all races in the Los Angeles DMA. It is important to note that all except White are growing – even in Inyo County where Whites alone are still the majority. Another point to highlight is the high incidence of foreign-born residents combined with the multicultural composition has a great effect on language habits.

Key Differences

From 2011 through 2015, the number of persons per household in Los Angeles DMA was 3, similar to CA and the U.S. However, we found some differences regarding housing, income, and education during the same time period:

  • The Los Angeles DMA accounts for 6.1 million households – almost half (48%) of total CA households. The median value of owner-occupied housing units is approximately $336K and its median gross rent is about $1,100. These figures are below total CA ($386K & $1,200 respectively) but over-index the total U.S. ($179K & $928 respectively.)
  • 81% of people aged 25 years and older in the Los Angeles DMA have a high-school or higher degree. This number is almost on par with CA (82%) and below total U.S. (87%.) When evaluating bachelor’s degree or higher education, the Los Angeles DMA dropped to 26% – which is lower than CA (31%) and U.S. (30%.)
  • Even though Los Angeles DMA’s level of education is lower than the total U.S., their median household income is higher ($59K vs. $54K respectively). However, this is still lower than CA ($62K.)

Key Takeaway: When compared with the total U.S. population, the Los Angeles DMA has a high median household income and pay higher rates for housing, as owners or tenants, but are falling a bit behind from the total population on incidence of high-school or higher degree of education.

Counties Highlights

After evaluating the entire DMA of Los Angeles we also wanted to get a better sense of the main highlights of each of its counties, organized per county’s population size (larger to smaller):

  • Los Angeles County:
    • Most populated: more than 10 million residents
    • Large foreign-born population: 35% of the population
    • Language: 57% of people 5 years and older speak a language other than English at home
  • Orange County:
    • Higher incidence of Asians: 20% of the population
    • High housing value: median value of owner-occupied housing units $554K and median gross rent $1,548
    • Higher education rates: 84% high-school graduate or higher and 38% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Riverside County:
    • Fastest growth: 8% growth rate
  • San Bernardino County:
    • Higher incidence of African-Americans: 10% of the population
    • Higher incidence of Hispanics: 52% of the population (tied with Kern County)
    • Higher rate of people per household: 3.33 people per household
  • Kern County:
    • Youngest: with 29% of the population under 18 years of age and just 10% 65 years+
    • Higher percentage of Hispanics: 52% of the population (tied with San Bernardino County)
    • Male: 52% of population
  • Ventura County:
    • Highest household income: median household income $77K
    • Highest per capita income: $33K
  • Inyo County:
    • Less populated: slightly more than 18,000 residents
    • Higher incidence of Whites: 64% of the population
    • Higher incidence of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone: 13% of the population

Key Takeaway: While these counties have plenty of commonalities in terms of their overall diversity, Hispanic influence, language, there are also important differences to recognize when doing grassroots tactics. For example: age, ethnicity, income, and education levels.


The Los Angeles DMA is ahead of its time – with current diversity data already matching 2060 forecasts for the rest of the country.

The Los Angeles DMA is young, majority diverse, skews Hispanic, and includes an Asian segment that is growing at a fast pace. Because of their diversity influence, a large percentage of its population doesn’t speak English at home. The majority speaks Spanish and other languages since its population is drawn from more than 140 countries of origin. The Los Angeles DMA has a house value, house rental value, and median household income that over-indexes the total U.S. population. Hispanics also over-index the general population within the DMA in regards of entertainment expenditures. The Los Angeles DMA can be used as a market to test strategies for products and services to learn and be prepared for the future changes in the America demographics.


Sources: Nielsen DMA Regions 2016-2016; Census Bureau QuickFacts; Geoscape.

Natty Romera
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Natty Romera

President at Eclipse Marketing Services
Natty has over 25 years of experience building brands in the U.S. Hispanic, African American, and Latin American markets. Follow Natty on LinkedIn
Natty Romera
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