With Growing Financial Power, Black Outlook Is Rosy

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African-Americans are the largest racial minority market, constituting 11% of the U.S. adult population, per research firm Experian. And this group is increasing its purchase power, which reached $913 billion in 2008, up from $590 billion in 2000. By 2013, that amount will reach $1.2 trillion, meaning nine cents out of every dollar spent in the U.S. will come from African-American consumers.

Using data from several of its consumer and media divisions, Experian says African-Americans are also more optimistic about their financial situation than the general population.

African-Americans are more likely than average American adults to say that in the next year they will be better off financially: Experian data says 36% of African-Americans said they would be better off financially, versus 31% of all adults.

Experian Simmons' Summer 2009 National Consumer Study surveyed consumers on -- among other things -- which statements applied to them. The firm says statements that indexed most strongly with African-Americans versus the general population included: "Owning a foreign car is much more prestigious than owning an American car;" "People often copy what I do or wear;" "I prefer fast food to home cooking;" and "I'm usually first among my friends to try new clothing styles."

In the area of finance, the statements that indexed most strongly for African-Americans were: "I find advertising for financial services to be interesting;" "I'll pay any price for good financial advice;" and "My friends or associates often ask for my advice in financial matters." In the area of shopping, the study says African-Americans index most strongly with statements like: "I'm usually first among friends to shop at a new store;" and "I often go out of my way to find a new store."

In the health area, "The most expensive medicine is usually best;" "I gather health info from the library;" and "There is not much point in taking non Rx meds since they don't really work" all index strongly with African-American consumers. Finally, in the area of media habits, statements like "I enjoy reading ads in magazines;" "advertising helps me choose products for my kids;" and "I find TV ads interesting and quite often it gives me something to talk about" index strongly.

Per Experian Simmons' Spring 2009 Multi-Media Engagement Study, House Beautiful magazine readers are 37% more likely to be African-American and the magazine scores 83% higher than the average magazine among African-Americans readers who say they are likely to buy products or services advertised in the magazine. Other top-ranking magazines are American Baby, Sporting News, Harper's Bazaar, Health, Soap Opera Digest, Parenting, Hot Rod, Fitness and Ebony.

The firm's New Media Study conducted last spring said African-Americans are 20% more likely than average to watch movies online, 19% more likely to listen to Internet radio and 18% more likely to use social tags or bookmarks. The most popular mobile activities were watching video uploaded to phone, uploading photos to social networking sites, downloading ringtones and music and watching streaming video.

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2 comments about "With Growing Financial Power, Black Outlook Is Rosy ".
  1. Anne Gallagher from 2DCodeMe , February 22, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.

    I struggle to understand your rationale in using the word "rosy" to describe a situation in which a racial minority market, that constitutes 11% of the U.S. adult population, is predicted to spend 9ยข of every dollar BY 2013. I would suggest a more accurate term such as "approaching equanimity."

  2. Nina Lentini from MediaPost Communications , February 22, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

    You make a point, Anne. We chose the word rosy because the story's source notes that a higher percentage of African Americans than the general population says it expects to be better off financially next year. Hope that answers your question!