The purchasing power of African Americans has experienced exponential growth despite a severe economic recession, which continues to rejuvenate the U.S. consumer marketplace. The State of the African-American Consumer Report found that black buying power is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, The Louisiana Weekly reports.
“If we just start supporting our own, my people might have the economic foundation we need to solve our problems,” says Maggie Anderson, who makes sure that she practices what she preaches. (The Network Journal, 2009)
A report released by Nielsen and the National News Publishers Association highlighted that the Black Buying Power of African Americans is “Still Vital, Still Growing,” which also identified African American consumers as potentially underserved by marketers.
The report found other notable findings, which include:
With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if Blacks were a country, they would be the 16th largest country in the world.
Blacks make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. Blacks in higher income brackets also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers, more than any other high-income household does.
There were 23.9 million active Black internet users in July 2011—76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
Thirty-three percent of all Blacks own a smart phone.
Black Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to whites—1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
“Unfortunately, when African-Americans make money, we spend it. We don’t use it to invest or produce,” a black consumer told BlackAmericanweb.com. “When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.” (Black America Web, 2009)
- Estimated Expenditures by Black Households - 2009
- Apparel Products and Services $29.3 billion
- Appliances 2.0 billion
- Beverages (Alcoholic) 3.0 billion
- Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) 2.8 billion
- Books 321 million
- Cars and Trucks - New & Used 29.1 billion
- Computers 3.6 billion
- Consumer Electronics 6.1 billion
- Contributions 17.3 billion
- Education 7.5 billion
- Entertainment and Leisure 3.1 billion
- Food 65.2 billion
- Gifts 9.6 billion
- Health Care 23.6 billion
- Households Furnishings & Equipment 16.5 billion
- Housewares 1.1 billion
- Housing and Related Charges 203.8 billion
- Insurance 21.3 billion
- Media 8.8 billion
- Miscellaneous 8.3 billion
- Personal and Professional Services 4.1 billion
- Personal Care Products and Services 7.4 billion
- Sports and Recreational Equipment 995 million
- Telephone Services 18.6 billion
- Tobacco Products 3.3 billion
- Toys, Games, and Pets 3.5 billion
- Travel, Transportation, and Lodging 6.0 billion
Source: Target Market News, "The Buying Power of Black American - 2010"
A community’s health directly correlates to how many times money circulates or recycles within that community, Jim Wyatt told listeners during a recent African-American chamber membership drive. (Texas Association of African American Chambers of commerce, 2011)
“Much like the blood in your body, the more it circulates the healthier your body. The less it circulates the more problems your body will have,” said Wyatt, chairman of the Texas Association of American Chambers of Commerce and former Victoria city councilman. “African-American businesses and consumers have a catch-22 so-to-speak.”
Blacks have a significant influence on the U.S. economy and in the private sector. Not only are African Americans an emerging consumer market, they spend a tremendous amount of money outside of the community. The dollar is estimated to circulate in the black community once before it exits into the global marketplace.
African Americans should be careful where they spend and consume. They should support private sector or fortune 500 companies who value the black dollar in community/corporate responsibility, hire African American executives, and contract and procure opportunities from blacks who supply commodities, goods, products, and services. Once Blacks are able to concentrate and hold the private sector accountable for patronage using the African American dollar, so shall the black community encounter economic growth and opportunities.
Support those who support you! African Americans are a purchasing power.