Target Market News®
The Black Consumer Market Authority

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Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Buying Power:
  $631 Billion (2002)

Black U.S. Population:
  38.3 million

Top Five Black Cities
  - New York
  - Chicago
  - Detroit
  - Philadelphia
  - Houston

Top Five Black Metros:
  - New York-New Jersey
  - Washington-Baltimore
  - Chicago-Gary
  - Los Angeles
  - Philadelphia

Top Five Expenditures:
 - Housing 130 billion
 - Food 52.4 billion
 - Cars/Trucks 48.7
 - Clothing 22.3 billion
 - Health Care 14.5 billion

Get quick access to key
U.S. Census 
Bureau Data

Click here to go to African-American Census Bureau data

New 'Buying Power' report shows blacks still outspend other ethnic segments

Black women continue to be the driving force in the market's growth

African-Americans continue to increase their spending in proportion to their rising income, according to the newest edition of “The Buying Power of Black America” study.  Black households also continue to spend more collectively than Hispanics or other minorities in virtually every consumer product and service category.

The findings come from the latest edition of the annually published report from Target Market News, a 15-year-old research and information company specializing in black consumer marketing and media.  The “Buying Power” report, which has been published annually for a decade, is one of the most widely quoted sources of information on black consumer behavior.

“These latest findings demonstrate how resilient the black consumer market is,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and publisher of the report. “African-Americans are still showing a rise in income and they are having a tremendous impact on the marketplace, especially during this economically slow period.  Marketers and manufacturers cannot afford to take them for granted.”

According to the report, black households had $631 billion in earned income in 2002, an increase of 4.8% over the $602 billion earned in 2001.

While other ethnic groups are growing in population, black consumers are still out-spending all other groups in apparel, food, beverages, cars, and trucks, home furnishings, telephone service and travel.

The purchases made by black women are the single biggest influence on the growth of African-American spending. With more income to spend, black women have increased expenditures over last year in categories in which they are the dominant buyers. These include child care (+8%), personal care products (+18%), gifts (+155%), food (+3%), women’s apparel (+2%), women’s footwear (+13%).

Some of the more expensive items showed signs of being affected by the economic downturn. Among these were computers (-10%), cars and trucks
(-4%), and travel (-6%).  There was also a drop in the dollars spent on so-called “sin” products, including tobacco products (-16%) and alcoholic beverages

“The Buying Power of Black America” report is based on an analysis of expenditures reported by 3,000 black households for the Department of Commerce’s Consumer Expenditure Survey.


Apparel Products and Services

$22.9 billion


$1.5 billion

Beverages (Alcoholic)

$2.2 billion

Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)

$2.9 billion


$303 million

Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles

$29.1 billion

Computers and Related Equipment

$1.9 billion

Consumer Electronics

$3.2 billion


$10.3 billion


$4.6 billion

Entertainment and Leisure

$2.5 billion


$53.9 billion


$7.9 billion

Health Care

$16.7 billion

Household Furnishings and Equipment

$11.6 billion


$1.1 billion

Housing and Related Charges

$131.7 billion


$14.8 billion


$5.3 billion

Personal Care Products and Services

$6.2 billion

Sports and Recreational Equipment

$386 million

Telephone Services

$13.6 billion

Tobacco Products and Smoking Supplies

$2.6 billion

Toys, Games and Pets

$1.9 billion

Travel, Transportation and Lodging

$5.1 billion

Copyright © 2003 Target Market News. All rights reserved. From "The Buying
Power of Black America - 2003" Do not cite without proper credit.

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The 2003 Black Consumer Research and Advertising Summit Workbook is available now!

Did you miss the fourth annual Black Consumer Research and Advertising Summit? Now you can own the hardcopy of all the presentations made at one of the industry's most anticipated annual events!

You'll get over 300 pages of the latest statistics, trends and analysis on the African American consumer market.

Speakers at this year's Summit:

Hugh Brown / The Media Audit
Oveda Brown / Scarborough
Barry Cooper /
Julian Davis / Arbitron
Morris Davis / M. Davis & Co.
Ron Franklin / GlobalHue
Valerie Graves / UniWorld
Craig Gillmore / State Farm
Mellody Hobson / Ariel Capital Mgt
Linda Jefferson / Burrell
Dwight Johnson / Census Bureau
Renetta McCann / Starcom
Pepper Miller / Hunter-Miller Group
Chuck Morrison / UniWorld
Marty Revel / BMW North America
David Rudd / Motorola
Ken Smikle / Target Market News
Launa Thompson / WGCI Chicago
Omar Wasow /
Carol Williams / Carol H. Williams Advertising
Christine Wood / Newspaper Assoc. of America
Deborah Gray Young / E. Morris Communications

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Click here to read the topics covered

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