#4: The Hispanic Population Is Growing — Fast
Thanks to both births and immigration, the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing population in the U.S., jumping 43% in the past decade to surpass the 50 million mark in 2010. According to data from the Census Bureau, Latinos now account for about one in four people under age 18.
There are a few ways to look at this trend, but any company that targets such a demographic has potential in the long run. Media companies are a good example: Entravision Communications (NYSE:EVC) has great growth potential, owing 53 television stations and 48 radio stations that cater to Hispanic audiences. Also, privately held Univision Communications has teamed up with ABC News — which is owned by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) — to create a cable channel geared to Hispanics.
#5: We Love Gadgets
“Love” might not even be as strong enough word — How about “addiction”? Either way, what used to be a luxury now is an inherent part of life, and that won’t change anytime in the near future; smartphones and tablets aren’t going anywhere.
It’s hard to say what exact models will be popular in coming years, but Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent patent grant definitely gives it a leg up — the company now owns the graphical interface for blogging, email, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps aaaaand a multi-touch interface.
Also, companies that manufacturer the actual parts for technology are in line with out love for gadgets. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Samsung, for example, are both established and also are the leading players when it comes to the semiconductor market, ranking Nos. 1 and 2 in the world by sales, respectively. Their products are used in just about everything these days, and likely will be for years to come.
#6: Our Roads Need Help
The nation has an aging infrastructure system that is — and will continue to be — in dire need of repair. According to TRIP, a nonprofit out of Washington, D.C., about a quarter of major U.S. urban roads are in sub-standard or poor condition and only a third are in good condition. Those numbers are only going to get worse with time, and don’t even begin to consider our bridges, water systems, power grids and so on.
Yes, infrastructure comes from the government. And while that might not sound promising in 2012 amid tight budgets, we can’t ignore roads and power grids forever.
#7: We’re Dirty
To end with an obvious one, human beings are filthy — we create lots of trash, and that’s not going to change anytime soon, either. In 2009, for example, Americans generated approximately 243 million tons of waste — over half of which was dumped.
Cue companies like Waste Management (NYSE:WM), which has an attractive 4% dividend yield, to clean up our mess. Plus, to play off of the growing health care and medical field mentioned earlier, other that could benefit include Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL), which is in the medical waste business.
As of writing this, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.