It’s finally happening. The Great Recession is loosening its grip on the nation’s economy. Signs of recovery are especially evident in the black consumer market, giving businesses yet another reason to craft marketing strategies for the growing African American middle class. Here are 10 good reasons for making 2014 the Year of the Black Consumer.
- African Americans are a growth market. In the past 12 months, the black population grew by 1.3 percent to 46 million (14 percent of all Americans). That might not sound like much, but it is 13 times faster than the 0.1 percent increase in the non-Hispanic white population. In fact, more blacks than non-Hispanic whites are being added to the U.S. population each year—595,000 blacks versus 229,000 non-Hispanic whites.
- Black households are spending more. Black households are bouncing back from the Great Recession. Between 2011 and 2012, black household spending grew faster than any other—rising 3.3 percent to $38,627, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, Hispanic household spending fell 1.6 percent, Asian household spending did not change, and non-Hispanic white household spending grew by a smaller 1.7 percent.
- Black households control $131 billion in discretionary income. African Americans control a larger share of discretionary income than any other minority group. In 2012, the average black household had $8,388 of discretionary dollars to spend—meaning money left over after paying taxes and buying necessities. The $131 billion in aggregate discretionary income controlled by African Americans far surpasses the $122 billion controlled by Asians and the $81 billion controlled by Hispanics.