African-American Consumers: The Untold Story

  • Black consumers make up a diverse group of trendsetters, education enthusiasts, media influencers, social activists and content creators. Making gains and upending outdated stereotypes on multiple fronts - from education to income to social media and civic engagement - the African-American story continues to evolve as Black consumers leave an indelible footprint on today’s rapidly changing mainstream. African-Americans are indeed increasingly affluent, influential and culturally diverse - and savvy marketers and businesses are taking notice.

  • The youth and vitality of Black consumers, bolstered by an increase of affluent and educated immigrants, is amplifying buying power and expanding influence across a wide spectrum of services and goods in the U.S. mainstream. Nielsen’s latest report on African-American consumers – Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse – explores the most current research on Blacks’ media consumption and buying habits and consumers trends. Here’s a snapshot of The Untold Story of African-American consumers:


    African-American consumers are ambitious when it comes to education! Blacks are making progress in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. Rising education rates for young Blacks and inroads into STEM professions will fuel income increases and help secure a place in the future U.S. workforce.


    Today’s Black population in the U.S. has experienced an increase in immigrant diversity. Black immigrants now account for 8.7% of the nation’s black population, nearly triple their share in 1980. Enriching the cultural mix of U.S. Blacks and contributing to an overall rise in consumer education and affluence.


    The average age of African-Americans is 31.4 years old, compared to 36.7 years for the total population. With a combination of youth and rising cultural influence, African-Americans continue to create mainstream trends in music, television, movies and more: Black consumers are youthful influencers indeed.


    Anchored by rich a heritage and custom, African-Americans believe in strong cultural connections. 40% of Blacks expect brands to support social causes; there is an expectation for the brands purchased to reflect values. Black consumers’ buying patterns showcase a focus on family and cooking ingredients tied to cultural traditions.

    We encourage you to read Nielsen’s latest report, Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse – African-American Consumers: The Untold Story 2015 Report. Click here to download your copy.


Get to know Nielsen

Nielsen is a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch, listen to and buy. What does this mean exactly? Nielsen’s business is understanding people. We measure consumer trends – what people buy, what media they watch, what digital media they consume and much more.


  • In the Community - Slide Image 006

    September 17 | Washington, DC

    Rev. Jacques DeGraff, co-chair of Nielsen’s African American Consumer Advisory Council, addresses audience at Nielsen media briefing for the release of the 2015 African-American Consumer Report held during the Congressional Black Caucus annual meeting.

  • In the Community - Slide Image 001

    August 18 | Dallas, TX

    Continuing its push to empower consumers, Nielsen stopped by the 3-day family friendly festival, MegaFest in Dallas, TX. Candace Barber, Nielsen’s Senior Event Manager, Community Alliance and Consumer Engagement, talked about the value and power of the African-American consumer.

  • In the Community - Slide Image 002

    August 15 | Los Angeles

    Let’s walk for education! During the UNCF’s annual fundraiser, members of the Nielsen team shared insights on being a #ConsciousConsumer and discussed the importance of participating in Nielsen studies.

  • In the Community - Slide Image 003

    July 29 | Miami, FL

    Over 300 multicultural women in media and communications kicked-off the second annual Color Comm Conference (C2), in Miami. C-Suite and Director level executives shared their experiences as women of color in the workplace during an enlightening conversation sponsored by Nielsen.

  • In the Community - Slide Image 004

    July 24 | Brooklyn, NY

    Nielsen participated in New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Attendees of the fest stopped by the Nielsen Lounge, jammed to a little karaoke fun and departed understanding the importance of being a Conscious Consumer.


  • American Courage Awards/Asian Americans Advancing Justice 10/1/2015 Washington, DC
    Sophisticates Luncheon at the Latino Fashion Week/Nueva Latina Estrella Award Ceremony 10/1/2015 Chicago
    Kiwanis Little Havana Foundation/Annual Gala 10/2/2015 Miami
    Latino Heritage, Inc./Latino Heritage-Los Angeles-Community Event 10/3/2015 Los Angeles
    National Latino Education Institute/Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 10/5/2015 Chicago
    National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts/Annual Gala 10/6/2015 Washington, DC
    Hispanic Scholarship Fund/Annual Gala 10/7/2015 New York
  • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers/Annual Conference 10/8/2015-10/15/2015 Houston
    Girls Today Women Tomorrow /Annual Luncheon 10/9/2015 Los Angeles
    Chicago Latin Community Meeting 10/9/2015 Chicago
    Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers/Annual Conference Leadership: Confidence, Courage, Commitment 10/9/2015 Houston
    16th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit, Leadership Town Hall Panel Discussion, Raising Our Voices on Systemic Structural Inequalities in Corporate America 10/9/2015 Detroit
  • Imagen Foundation/Most Powerful & Influential Latinos 10/14/2015 Los Angeles
    Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles/ Annual Gala 10/15/2015 Los Angeles
    America Economica/The Make Up of The Hispanic Market in the U.S 10/16/2015 Miami
    Los Angeles Sentinel/Taste of Soul 10/17/2015 Los Angeles
    People en Espanol 10/17/2015 New York
    Better Government Association/Annual Luncheon 10/19/2015 Chicago
    The American Advertising Federation of Miami/New Hispanic Report 10/21/2015 Miami
  • National Association of Hispanic Publications/Annual Conference 10/20/2015 Dallas
    Hispanic Federation/Night of 1000 Friends 10/22/2015 New York
    Thirteenth Annual Hispanic TV Summit/Who’s Watching What, and Where Are They Watching? 10/22/2015 New York
    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Hispanic Heritage Month Event Sí, Se Puede: The Current Economic Opportunities and Barriers Facing Latinas in the United States 10/22/2015 New York
    Asian Real Estate Association of America/National Convention 10/23/2015 San Francisco
    Allegiance Party with George Takei/Asian American Legal Defense 10/29/2015 New York
  • Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM), LATISM’15: The State of the Social Latino 10/29/2015 Washington, DC
    Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation/Benefit Gala 10/29/2015 Washington, DC
    YWCA/Annual Leader Luncheon 10/30/2015 Chicago
    Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund/Annual Gala 10/30/2015 Los Angeles


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Check out the top shows Black households are watching here.



The Untold Story

2015 Report

Hip-Hop Nation: How the Genre Is Turning It Up in 2015 View
State of the Media: Audio Today-A Focus on Black and Hispanic Audiences View
The Multicultural Edge: The Rising Super Consumer View
MULTIFACETED CONNECTIONS: African-American Media Usage Outpaces Across Platforms View

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