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 Black Stats          
Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Black Buying Power:
  $679 Billion (2004)

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 110.2 bil.
 - Food 53.8 bil.
 - Cars/Trucks 28.7 bil.
 - Clothing 22.0 bil.
 - Health Care 17.9 bil.

Click here for more stats from "The Buying Power of Black America."
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U.S. Census 
Bureau Data

Click here to go to African-American Census Bureau data


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Study looks at habits of African-American students as consumers

By Eric Weil
Student Monitor
African-American college students demonstrate high levels of media consumption, enthusiastically embrace technology and are active consumers, the latest Student Monitor national survey of college undergraduates reveals. Black collegians also are socially conscious and highly motivated to achieve professional goals and to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate

The Student Monitor findings are based on professionally administered, one-on-one interviews conducted among full-time undergraduate students attending 100 representative colleges and universities throughout the country. The study's margin of error is 2.3 percent.

Media Consumption
African-American college students consume a broad range of various forms of electronic and print media. Not surprisingly, females report viewing 4 percent more television in a typical week than do males (16.6 hours compared to 16 hours among males). Nearly 8 in 10 have cable or satellite service on the television they watch most often; not surprisingly, all five of their favorite networks are cable-based (BET, ESPN, HBO, MTV and Lifetime). Nearly 1 in 3 also report watching their campus-based television network.

More than 4 in 10 (43 percent) report reading at least one nationally distributed newspaper in the past week with USA TODAY and The New York Times being named the most commonly read national newspapers (23 percent and 17 percent respectively). About a third report reading the online version of a national newspaper as well (somewhat higher among males, 35 percent compared to 30 percent among females).

The local campus newspaper is also a favorite among African-American undergrads. In fact, about 1 in 7 report reading all of the last 5 issues of their campus newspaper and 3 in 4 report reading at least 1 issue of the last 5 issues. Readership actually increases with each year in school ranging from an average of 1.5 issues among freshmen to 2.5 issues among seniors.

Ebony, Vibe, Essence, Seventeen, ESPN The Magazine, Black Enterprise, Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan are the magazines most commonly read.

Nearly 8 in 10 (77 percent) African-American undergrads own a personal computer (78 percent among males and 77 percent among females). Students attending private schools are more likely than students attending public schools to own a personal computer (84 percent compared to 75 percent). Multiple computer ownership is on the rise with an average of 1.6 computers owned among student computer owners.

Males demonstrate a preference for desktops while females are more likely to own notebook computers. In most cases (36 percent) students report their parents purchased their computers for them while the next largest group (29 percent) report they purchased their own. Students most often purchase their computers online from a manufacturer such as Dell or Apple. The next largest group of students report purchasing their computers from an off-campus consumer electronics store such as Circuit City.

When it comes to making a computer purchase decision, what's most important to both male and female students is "price", "service/support warranty" and a "special offer or promotion." On average, males paid nearly 20 percent more than females for their computers ($992 compared to $833. Purchasers of desktops paid an average of $912 while notebook buyers paid an average of $1,138. More than half of all computer purchases (55 percent) were made in the four-month period June through

Not surprisingly, the Internet is an important element of students' lives. In fact, more than 8 in 10 (85 percent) go on the Internet daily or more often, spending an average of 17 hours a week online (18 percent higher among males at nearly 19 hours). "Checking grades" (79 percent), "complete a class assignment" (58 percent) and "get help with homework/research question" (55 percent) are the most common reasons students go online.

Additionally, more than 4 in 10 (higher among females at 59 percent) went online in the past month to "look or apply for internships or jobs". About 4 in 10 females (41 percent) and 1 in 3 males (31 percent) "instant-messaged a classmate regarding a class assignment" and about 1 in 7 "edited a digital photograph".

Facebook.com (49 percent) and BlackPlanet.com (35 percent) are the most commonly visited, student-related websites among African-American college students. Six in 10 (but two-thirds among females) used Google in the past month equal to the finding for Yahoo! Students average 2.7 email addresses and are more likely to use a Yahoo! email address as their primary email address than their school-provided email address (38 percent compared to 23 percent).

Students as Consumers
Nearly 6 in 10 (higher among females) made an online purchase in the past year and 14 percent purchased a textbook online. More than 6 in 10 students (among females, 74 percent) used an IM application in the past month and AOL Instant Messenger is by far students' favorite (42 percent among males and 37 percent among females). About two-thirds of males (65 percent) and more than 8 in 10 females (85 percent) report they downloaded unlicensed music or movies in the past month.

Forty-one percent of male students and 36 percent of female students report purchasing fewer than 100 percent of their required textbooks this semester. Among this group of students, the most commonly reported reasons include "can't afford the cost of a new book" (45 percent), "shared the book with someone else" (40 percent) and "professor doesn't use the book (30 percent).

Students spent an average of $318.60 for the 5.1 textbooks they purchased last semester and nearly 8 in 10 (77 percent) purchased most of their textbooks from their "on-campus bookstore." More than 4 in 10 (46 percent) report they are aware of e-books but only 8 percent of those have ever purchased an e-book.

When asked how they prefer to learn about products and services, 53 percent mention "word of mouth/friends", 39 percent mention "television advertising" and nearly an equal number, 37 percent, mention "an email sent to me." In monthly spending, more than half of all students purchased books or magazines not required for class and spent an average of $24.50. Two- thirds (67 percent) of students spent an average of $46.30 for eating on campus and 93 percent spent an average of $65.60 for eating off campus.

Favorite shopping sites, Old Navy (40 percent), Gap (28 percent) and Victoria's Secret (25 percent), were visited in the past month. In fact, 44 percent of all females shopped at Victoria's Secret in the past month. More than 3 in 4 (77 percent) purchased jeans in the past 6 months, and about 6 in 10 (59 percent) purchased athletic shoes or sneakers. Nearly 6 in 10 females purchased cosmetics, spending an averageof $28.30. Nearly 3 in 4 females (72 percent) purchased fragrance spending an average of $48.

Nearly 1 in 3 (29 percent) own a digital still camera and 1 in 5 (20 percent) plan to purchase a digital still camera in the next 12 months. Half of all males (50 percent) and 41 percent of females own a video game console system such as Sony Playstation2 or Microsoft Xbox, and 21 percent plan to purchase a video game console system. Cellular telephones are a common element of students' digital lifestyle, with 90 percent reporting ownership of a cellular telephone. Cingular Wireless (23 percent) and Verizon Wireless (19 percent) are the cellular providers used most often by African-American college students.

About 4 in 10 students (37 percent among males and 45 percent among females) have a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card in their own name.

For more information visit www.studentmonitor.com.

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 12th Annual Edition Available 

Latest 'Buying Power' report shows black consumers spending more on home life

As the American economy continues to move sluggishly, African-American households are curtailing their spending in many categories, including food, clothing and basic household items, while investing more in home repair, home entertainment and consumer electronics. Although they are trimming back, black consumers are still spending more than their white counterparts on most of these products.
Story and statistics continued



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