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African Americans are crucial to the consumer economy, with a population of 39 million and buying power of $892 billion – a figure expected to exceed $1.1 trillion in 2012 – according to a Packaged Facts study.

That increase equates to cumulative growth of 28.4% during the forecast period.

Below, additional findings from the study.

Those living in the South account for 54% of African-American buying power. Other key segments:

  • Residents of central cities ($430 billion, or 48% of the total)
  • Married couples ($428 billion or 48% of the total)
  • Households with an income of $75,000 or more ($405 billion, or 45% of the total)

There are 2.4 million African-Americans in $75K+ households, and they are…

  • More likely than other affluent consumers to spend money on fashionable dress, toiletries and cosmetics, and cruise vacations
  • Less likely to use the internet to plan shopping trips, gather information for shopping, or make online purchases

African-American consumers create a wide range of possibilities for marketers in various industries:

  • Food & Beverage: 3.9 million black consumers spend $150 or more per week on groceries.
  • Health & Fitness: 7.6 million African Americans said they exercise regularly at home, which opens up possibilities for marketers of exercise equipment.
  • Clothing: African-American men and women represent 22% and 26% of all suit-buyers, respectively.
  • Auto: Approximately 9 million African Americans plan to buy a new vehicle, accounting for more than 9% of all consumers who plan to purchase a new vehicle.

Black media continue to offer advertisers access to African-American consumers, who nevertheless also share many of the mainstream media preferences of other American viewers and readers:

  • Television is a top source of media consumption, with 4 in 10 households containing 4 or more televisions.
  • Spending on magazines is 6% more than the national average.
  • Radio and newspapers are less popular than the average.
  • Internet use is still lagging, but by 2012 penetration in the African-American community is expected to reach 62%.

About the report: “The African-American Market in the US” highlights the shopping, spending and leisure-time habits of the 2.4 million affluent African-American households with a household income of $75,000 or more. Packaged Facts has included individuals who identify in Census Bureau data as black or African American alone in their definition of African-American, regardless of whether they also identify as Hispanics.

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