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Excerpted from a Nielsen Report dated September 22, 2011

African-Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to The State of the African-American Consumer from Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S. This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment. Likewise, when consumers are more aware of their buying power, it can help them make informed decisions about the companies they choose to support.

“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA.

Report Highlights

  • With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.
  • The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64%, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population’s earning between 2000 and 2009. 
  • This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community’s economic power.
  • African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. 
  • African-Americans in higher income brackets, also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.
  • There were 23.9 million active African-American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
  • 33% of all African-Americans own a smartphone.
  • African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
  • The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44% for men and 53% for women.
  • Find out more by downloading the free report: The State of the African-American Consumer.


For more insights, download Nielsen reports and webinars

NOTE: The goal of the sm@rt newsletter is to provide our readers with access to the best information, data, consumer behavioral purchase habits and prescriptive analytics created by professionals in the advertising, marketing and multimedia industries that can assist them in enhancing their multicultural communication campaigns. Some of the content may be freely distributed and copied. Others must follow the originator's copyright guidelines that appear in each article and must be given appropriate acknowledgment.

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