15th Annual Edition
'Buying Power of Black America' report breaks down billions in expenditures

Black consumers are responding to tighter economic condition by focusing more of their spending on items and services that improve their homes and lifestyle. That's one of the trends revealed in the 15th annual report, "The Buying Power of Black America," published by Target Market News. The report analyzes spending for black households in 2008 and finds that African-Americans...
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 Black Stats  
Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Black Buying Power:
 $803 Billion (2008)

Black U.S. Population:
 41.1 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 $166.3 bil.
 - Food $65.3 bil.
 - Cars/Trucks $31.5 bil.
 - Clothing $26.9 bil.
 - Health Care $23.9 bil.

Click here for more stats from "The Buying Power of Black America."
Get quick access to key
U.S. Census 
Bureau Data

Click here to go to African-American Census Bureau data


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Pew Study: Blacks are far more upbeat about economy improving than whites

By Floyd Norris
The N.Y. Times
(July 2, 2010) The Great Recession hit American blacks harder than it did whites. Blacks were more likely to lose their jobs, and those who kept them were more likely to have their pay or hours reduced. Black homeowners are also far more likely than whites to own homes that are no longer worth what they owe on the mortgage.

And yet blacks are far more upbeat about the economy than whites. They are more likely to view economic conditions as good now, and more likely to think that improvement is on the horizon.

The Pew Research Center this week released a report, "How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America," based largely on polling data. It found that few Americans said they believed the recession had ended, although a much larger proportion said they thought the economy was starting to recover.

A slight majority of blacks -- 53 percent -- say they believe the economy is at least starting to recover, while just 40 percent of whites agree.

The Pew study explains the "seemingly counterintuitive patterns" by pointing to the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president. That "appears to have put his most enthusiastic supporters, -- especially blacks, Democrats and young adults -- in a more positive frame of mind about many aspects of national life, including their perceptions of economy."

The increasing partisanship of American life is also reflected in the numbers. During the administration of Bill Clinton in the 1990s, Democrats and Republicans had similar views of how the economy was doing, Pew reported. But during the administration of George W. Bush, Republicans tended to see the economy in a much more favorable light. Now it is the Democrats whose lenses are more rose-colored.

The accompanying charts show the perceptions of blacks and whites about how the economy was doing from 2004 through May of this year. The proportion of whites who see the economy as good or excellent -- as opposed to poor or only fair -- has risen to 13 percent from a low of 3 percent in early 2009. But 25 percent of blacks see the economy as good or excellent, the highest figure since 2006, well before the recession began.

The job figures for June, released Friday, showed an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent for whites and 15.4 percent for blacks. The chart shows the 6.8 percentage point difference between the two figures. That is down from a peak of 7.8 percentage points in January, but is far above the difference when the recession began.

The Pew study reported that 54 percent of employed blacks took a pay cut, had work hours reduced or were forced to take unpaid leave during the recession, compared with 37 percent of white workers. Among homeowners with mortgages, 35 percent of blacks say their homes are worth less than they owe, about double the 18 percent figure for whites.

Despite such results, blacks see a brighter future than do whites. Asked if America was still a land of prosperity, 81 percent of blacks said yes, compared with 59 percent of whites. Blacks are more likely than whites to think they are better off than their parents, and more likely to think their children will live better than they do.

Click here for a PDF copy of the report

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