NEW YORK — The Hispanic population continues to rocket and everyone from clothing retailers to toy manufacturers wants a piece of it. The Census Bureau estimates the number of Hispanics at 38.8 million – compared with 38.3 million African-Americans – out of a total U.S. population of 288.4 million. In January 2003, there were 12.4 million Hispanic Internet users, or about one-third of the total U.S. Hispanic population. Their online activity is comparable to that of the general population, with the total Internet population spending 86.4 minutes a day on the computer and Hispanics, 85.9 minutes, according to ComScore Networks, an Internet audience measurement service.

There’s a strong correlation between the retail sites visited by the general online population and the Hispanic online population, said ComScore. Both groups tend to frequent the sites of the biggest online and off line retailers, such as eBay, Amazon and American Greetings. One exception is Wal-Mart, which isn’t amongthe top 10 retail sites for Hispanics, but is the sixth most-popular site for the total online audience.

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