Global performance management company Nielsen released its seventh annual Diverse Intelligence Series report today and you should definitely read it. The "African American Women: Our Science, Her Magic" report paints black women as trendsetters, brand loyalists and early adopters who care about projecting a positive image.

Nielsen unveiled the report, "African American Women: Our Science, Her Magic," during the 47th Legislative Conference alongside host Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus conference.

According to the report, black women’s consumer preferences and brand affinities are resonating across the U.S. mainstream, driving total Black spending power toward a record $1.5 trillion by 2021. Another major finding is that the number of businesses majority-owned by Black women grew 67 percent between 2007 and 2012, more than all women combined.

“Black women have strong life-affirming values that spill over into everything they do. The celebration of their power and beauty is reflected in what they buy, watch and listen to, and people outside their communities find it inspiring,” says Cheryl Grace, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen. “Understanding how Black women’s values affect their buying decisions has long been a marketing necessity. Now, marketers must also recognize the intercultural influence of Black women on the general market as an increasingly vital part of how all women see themselves, their families and the rest of the world.”

The report analyzes how black women interact with technology, social media, television and also details the natural hair movement and projecting a positive image.

Check out some of the major takeaways below:

Independent and Self-made

64 percent of Black women agree their goal is to make it to the top of their profession (95 percent higher than non-Hispanic white women), and 58 percent agree that they don’t mind giving up their personal time for work (20 percent higher than non-Hispanic white women).

According to Nielsen's report, black women have an independent mindset that's present in her rising income, growing confidence and self-awareness. "Black women are not only redefining what it means to be a woman for
themselves, but are at the vanguard of changing gender roles and unlimited possibilities for American
women of all ages and races."

Social Media and Technology

Black Women over-index by 29 percent for spending 3–4 hours each day on social networking sites and by 86 percent for spending 5 or more hours each day on social networking sites.

Black women have embraced the social media movement #BlackGirlMagic, which empowers black women and encourages them to uplift each other and highlight achievements made by black women throughout the country. "Especially adept at using technology and social media to trade opinions and offer recommendations, black women (18+), more than any other demographic group, have taken social media and adopted it for higher purposes."

The report also shows that 43 percent of black women say they like to share their opinions on products and services by posting ratings and reviews on social media. "Whether they are buying cars, jewelry, smartphones or beauty products, the advice, referrals and feedback they receive from friends and community play an important role in black women’s purchases."

Trendsetting Consumerism and Consumption

62 percent of black women agree that they enjoy wandering a store looking for new, interesting products (10 percent higher than non-Hispanic white women).

Projecting a positive image is a sign of Black women’s aspirations and growing empowerment. Black women always have a desire for change, and this is part of the reason they're major trendsetters.

Projecting a Positive Self-Image

82 percent of black women agree it is important to be well-groomed, and 74 percent of black women agree that they eat right. 

Black women empowering each other goes beyond supporting each other's events or giving compliments and posting WCWs on social media. Another aspect of black women's aspirations and growing empowerment is living a healthy lifestyle.

The natural hair movement in the U.S. is included in black women's efforts to make healthier choices. "Going natural, or forgoing chemical treatments to straighten their hair, is another way Black women may choose to safeguard their health and environment, while embracing their curly hair as it grows naturally." Nielsen's report shows that 60 percent of black women agree they buy natural products because they are concerned about the environment, and 46 percent agree they often use natural or organic beauty products."


Black women (18+) spend more time watching live TV, listening to the radio and using multimedia devices than total U.S. women.

The top five most watched shows during the 2016-17 season by black women were Empire (FOX) The New Edition Story (BET), Star (FOX), The Have and the Have Nots (OWN) and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta (VH-1).

Environmental Causes

74 percent of black women agree global warming is a serious threat (7 percent higher than non-Hispanic white women).

Black women may have a more prominent voice when it comes to ecological sustainability than you realize. They're becoming more involved in the global movement and see saving the planet through the lens of guaranteeing clean air, water and most importantly safety for their own families and communities.

In short, the new Nielsen report basically supports what black people have been saying for years; black women are everything and they continue to have a major impact on everyone around them.

For additional data and to read the full report, download the report "African American Women: Our Science, Her Magic" from Nielsen's website.