The growing economic power of African Americans

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2015)

According to The Multicultural Economy, an annual report produced by The Selig Center for Economic Growth, in an executive summary written by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, African Americans “wield formidable economic clout.”

The report provides consumer buying estimates by ethnic group and state. According to the data compiled in 2009, the African American consumer buying market was estimated at $910 billion.

According to the report, buying power is defined as the total personal income of residents left over, after taxes, for general spending, excluding money that is borrowed or saved in prior years.

The percentage gain in minority buying power for African Americans, per the report, was 54 percent.

In 2009, African Americans were projected to constitute the nation’s largest racial minority market, exceeded only by the buying power of Hispanics, based on report data.

The Selig Center projected that the nation’s black buying power will rise from $910 billion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion in 2014.

According to the executive summary, “of the many diverse supporting forces, one of the most important is the increasing number of blacks who are starting and expanding their own businesses.

Factors listed for the continued rise in the African-American buying power are:

African Americans are becoming more educated.

The black population continues to grow more rapidly than the total population.

The black population is younger, with larger proportions entering the workforce for the first time or moving up from entry-level jobs..

To view the comprehensive report, visit

The growing economic power of African Americans