According to a recent Nielsen study, the Black consumer holds a wealth of opportunity for businesses and advertisers. In a collaboration with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Nielsen released its second installment The State of the African-American Consumer Report. In the African-Americans: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report, the Black consumer’s buying power is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, and they still remain at the forefront when it comes to social trends and media consumption.

The growth report was broken down into 4 sections: Demographic Growth, Lifestyle Trends, What African-Americans Buy and What African-Americans Watch. After each section, it offered a summary and opportunities are available as companies and consumers.

The extensive report offered statistics in regards to the African-American population and the percentage of people who preferred the term “African-American” as opposed to “Black”:

African-americans represent the majority (89%) of the Black U.s. population. the population also includes those who describe themselves as Black (for example, those who are west indian or from sub-saharan africa), as well as persons who define their racial background as a combination of Black and another race. in a 2008 study, 3,400 individuals from the Black population were asked which was the preferred term to be called, Black or african-american: 44% preferred Black, 43% preferred african-american and 11% did not care for the purposes of this report, we use the terms african-american and Black interchangeably.

Other key statistics included:

  • The U.S. Black population is 43 million strong. Larger than 163 of the 195 countries in the world including Argentina, Poland, Canada and Australia.
  • Black households are 127% more likely to include a single parent, most often a woman.
  • 48% of Black grandparents who live in the same household with their grandchildren serve as their primary caregivers.
  • African-Americans are a driving force for popular culture. 73% of Whites and 67% of Hispanics believe Blacks influence mainstream American culture
  • African-americans are 72% more likely to live in an urban locale in and around a “Big City Urban” center

The state the obvious factors of the report include statistics that show black people love reality television. Some of the top shows viewed by African-Americans included The Game, Basketball Wives, Love & Hip-Hop, Single Ladies and T.I and Tiny. Interesting the top 10 shows aired on either Vh1 or BET.

Hair and skin is not only an issue in the comment section of Clutch, it is also big business. Blacks spend over nine times more on ethnic hair and beauty products than any other group and also buy more hand & body lotions, and all purpose skin creams at a rate of 54% and 40%, respectively, higher than the general population. A high percentage of those products also happen to be skin bleaching or toning products.

The takeaway from this report could be a variety of things. Sure, African-Americans are spending and contributing to the economy at a higher rate, but is the spending being done responsibly? Of course companies don’t care either way, as long as they’re making a profit. I would definitely encourage everyone to take a look at the report, to see how you’re habits are aligned with it.

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  • Shelly

    Preach, Mr. James! That’s all I could think about while reading this article…”1.1 TRILLION dollars, and let me guess how much of that goes into black businesses…probably close to zilch!” I stopped buying from Asian businesses long ago. They come into our communities and sell us crap we don’t need anyway like the stomach-turning food (generic asian food, maybe not the authentic food), hair weaves, and fake nails. We help them get rich, yet they treat us like crap anyway. I love asian people, but I will not support them financially anymore.

    From what i’ve read, asians (and middle easterners)get loans and money from their own country to help them start businesses in the United States. Where’s our country? We have no connections outside of the United States. If the African American community had connections to Africa, perhaps we could build a partnership that could help us and Africa grow economically and independently.

  • Shelly

    I have actually bought skin-bleaching products for my acne scars, but I make sure it says “skin toning” or “skin evening” or
    “fade cream” because my purpose for using it is not to make all my skin lighter, just take away the marks. I used Palmers, although as someone mentioned, Ambi is another popular line. None of the products made me lighter.

  • Neek

    I don’t think most black women think they’re really going to become light skinned with these bleaching creams. They work in 6-12 months on removing some pigmentation problems. Only prescription grade 4% or higher will have major effects and even then it won’t last. More black people suffer fro hyper pigmentation. So we use more products to fix it. This makes it sound like we spend all our money trying to look white. Give is a little credit please. The fact is if there were more black owned businesses and beauty supply stores in our neighborhoods, yes we would shop there. Have you seen one lately? I haven’t. The best I can do is drive 6 miles out if the way to shop at Sally’s because at least they have good customer service and never treat us like we’re gonna steal something. Part of my reason for going natural was because I got sick of the racist and biased treatments Asians hand out while we hand them our hard earned money. We should be pulling together to take that buying power and controlling the industries who expect to make our money but instead all well do is what’s most beneficial for us and not our people. Black people need to get an agenda, gain some knowledge and keep our money for ourselves so that our communities will grow strong and prosperous.