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September 2011
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Nielsen Study Shows African-American Buying Habits


New study claims African Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion

By C. Zawadi Morris | Bed-Stuy Patch

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, according to a recent report entitled, The State of the African-American Consumer.

The study – a joint effort between Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S. – African Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion.

Collectively, says the report, African Americans over index in several key categories (television viewing, mobile phone usage and trips to grocery channels) and exert a large influence on popular culture and trends, indicative of the high growth industries of the future.

Report Highlights.

  • The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64 percent, a rate close to 12 percent 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 percent 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 percent of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
  • 33 percent 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 percent for men and 53 percent for women.

Related Links:

The 2011 African-American Consumer Report

The 2012 African-American Consumer Report

The 2013 African-American Consumer Report

The 2014 African-American Consumer Report

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