A recent report by Nielsen highlights the dynamic growth of the  African American consumer population. The Black community is making huge gains as buyers and this growth covers a large spectrum of things, including population increase, education, diversity within the black community, advancing income and consumption of media. Here are the top 10 things to take from the report.

Nielsen’s recent report, Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse: African-American Consumers –The Untold Story,

1. Population Increase

The African American population is growing faster than non-Hispanics whites across all income segments above $60,000. In factOur population grew 35 percent faster than the total population from 2000-2014 and is on the uptrend. According to the U.S Census, by 2060, the black population will increase to 74.5 million people. That would make the African-American community 17.9 percent of the total US population.

2. Education is flourishingScreen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.53.45 AM

The rate for high-school graduation for black students rose to over 70 percent. That is greater than any other race. College enrollment is also on the rise. Last year the percentage of black high-school graduates enrolled in college increased to 70.9 percent. The community is also making strides in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, which will help secure income increases.


3. We’re Getting Richer

The black household median rose by 3.5 percent within the past three years. The median household income also increased 2.3 percent, which outpaced the income growth for any category. Black households earning $200,000+ outdid the total population by 64 percent with a whopping 138 percent income increase from 2005-2013. The growth in household income is projected to continue.



4. The Black community isn’t just about African Americans anymore. It’s About the Diaspora

The number of black immigrants has more than quadrupled since 1980. African immigrants are leading the pack with more than a third of the total foreign-born US black population hailing from the continent. The black community is expected to continue to diversify with the US census predicting by 2060, one out of every six black people in the US will be an immigrant. This surge in foreign-born blacks is contributing to the increased incomes for the African American community.


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5. We’re going back to the South

The Black population is continuing to shif to the southern US. This shift is driving local development, with the most intensive growth in the number of African-American households with over $100,000 annual income.

6. Millennials and Young People Make Up the Majority of our community

The average age of black Americans is 31.4 years. This is younger than the non-Hispanic white population, which is 39, and the total population, which is 36.7. This is very promising for income increases, as there are more opportunities for growth within the black community.

7. We’re always online and consuming content

Black adults 18 and over spend 42 percent more time viewing TV, 13 percent more time on PCs, 15 percent more time on smartphones and 4 percent more time listening to the radio than the total population. 91 percent of all African Americans listen to the radio weekly (31 million). Black incomes between $75,000- $100,000 are 51 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites to listen to an online local radio station and 24 percent more likely to listen to a streaming music service


8. Black Twitter is Real.

African-American-themed shows and characters have strong engagement levels with the overall Twitter TV audience. The show Empire is a huge example of this. The marriage between social media and television has provided a platform to create awareness about the lack of diversity recognition in popular awards shows. An example of this is the power of Black Twitter — that community is so big, the Los Angeles Times even hired someone to focus specifically on that sector.


9. Spending Money In our own community is a priority

As black consumers hit peak earning years and the number of households earning higher income levels increases, the opportunity for retailers to benefit from these higher spending levels will continue to increase. African Americans earning over $100,000 say they will pay extra for a product that is consistent with an image they want to convey.

10. Celebrities and Influencers impact our buying decisions

African Americans making $50,000-$75,000 are 96 percent more likely than their non-Hispanic non-white counterparts to consider purchasing a product that is endorsed by a celebrity. The increased presence of African-American-themed content and programs with at least one black lead actor or actress on the small screen proves to show our voices are being heard.


Such a report is ground-breaking for the African-American community. Our influence and growth are being acknowledged and it is refreshing to see the upward trends. With increasing population to continue, education on the uprising and more diversity within the community, African Americans will be a force to be reckoned with as the years go on.


What did you find most interesting in this survey? Let us know in the comments below.