According to a recent Nielsen study, the Black consumer holds a wealth of opportunity for businesses and advertisers. In a collaboration with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Nielsen released its second installment The State of the African-American Consumer Report. In the African-Americans: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report, the Black consumer’s buying power is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, and they still remain at the forefront when it comes to social trends and media consumption.

The growth report was broken down into 4 sections: Demographic Growth, Lifestyle Trends, What African-Americans Buy and What African-Americans Watch. After each section, it offered a summary and opportunities are available as companies and consumers.

The extensive report offered statistics in regards to the African-American population and the percentage of people who preferred the term “African-American” as opposed to “Black”:

African-americans represent the majority (89%) of the Black U.s. population. the population also includes those who describe themselves as Black (for example, those who are west indian or from sub-saharan africa), as well as persons who define their racial background as a combination of Black and another race. in a 2008 study, 3,400 individuals from the Black population were asked which was the preferred term to be called, Black or african-american: 44% preferred Black, 43% preferred african-american and 11% did not care for the purposes of this report, we use the terms african-american and Black interchangeably.

Other key statistics included:

  • The U.S. Black population is 43 million strong. Larger than 163 of the 195 countries in the world including Argentina, Poland, Canada and Australia.
  • Black households are 127% more likely to include a single parent, most often a woman.
  • 48% of Black grandparents who live in the same household with their grandchildren serve as their primary caregivers.
  • African-Americans are a driving force for popular culture. 73% of Whites and 67% of Hispanics believe Blacks influence mainstream American culture
  • African-americans are 72% more likely to live in an urban locale in and around a “Big City Urban” center

The state the obvious factors of the report include statistics that show black people love reality television. Some of the top shows viewed by African-Americans included The Game, Basketball Wives, Love & Hip-Hop, Single Ladies and T.I and Tiny. Interesting the top 10 shows aired on either Vh1 or BET.

Hair and skin is not only an issue in the comment section of Clutch, it is also big business. Blacks spend over nine times more on ethnic hair and beauty products than any other group and also buy more hand & body lotions, and all purpose skin creams at a rate of 54% and 40%, respectively, higher than the general population. A high percentage of those products also happen to be skin bleaching or toning products.

The takeaway from this report could be a variety of things. Sure, African-Americans are spending and contributing to the economy at a higher rate, but is the spending being done responsibly? Of course companies don’t care either way, as long as they’re making a profit. I would definitely encourage everyone to take a look at the report, to see how you’re habits are aligned with it.

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