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There are 43 million African Americans in the United States, 13.7 percent of the total population, the second largest racial minority in the country. The median age is 32 and 47 percent are under 35 years of age.
Even with these impressive numbers and buying power most mainstream advertisers are not inclusive, do not include African Americans in media and marketing plans and have underestimated the market size.
The Nielsen Company study entitled “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” which was commissioned by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, shows the underrepresented potential and spending power of the African American community.
The report’s findings, which will be presented at the June conference of the National Association of Black Accountants Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, found that the African American population is an economic force to be reckoned with, with a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015.
Also worth noting, the population of African-American consumers growth outpaces the rest of the population by 30 percent. Additionally, the demographic is younger, more educated and has higher incomes than commonly believed.
According to the study: between 2000 and 2009, the number of African Americans attending some college or earning degrees has grown: 45 percent of men; 54 percent of women. Households earning $75,000 or more grew by more than 60 percent, faster than the rest of the population. African American’s average income nationwide is $47,290.
So what does this all mean in business terms? It means African Americans wield tremendous buying power. The Nielsen study showed numerous shopping trends, mostly for household, health and beauty, travel, smart phones and child related items.
“The Nielsen report is very encouraging because it shows the African American population is a tremendous financial asset to this country’s economic recovery,” says Calvin Harris, Jr. , President & CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants.