Submitted by ub on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 01:01

As the Latino population in this country surpasses that 50 million plus figure, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. is now expected to nearly double in the past decade.

That’s the finding of a recently released study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Geoscape, a company that provides demographics data. The findings analyze U.S. census data and other information and projects nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in this country this year, up from nearly 1.7 million in 2002.

The study also forecasts that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in what it calls the South Atlantic region — Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida — will surpass the number in the Pacific region, which includes the West Coast and Alaska and Hawaii.

The same research date projects that there will be more than 866,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the South Atlantic this year, compared with nearly 796,000 in the Pacific.

The surge in Hispanic-owned businesses reflects the rapid growth of the Hispanic population. The number of Hispanics counted in the U.S. census in 2012 rose 2.2 percent from 2011 to 53 million.