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 Making gains and upending outdated stereotypes on multiple fronts - from education to income to social media and civic engagement - the African-American story continues to evolve as Black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 005

    June 3 | Houston, TX

    Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement spoke to the attendees of the 29th annual 100 Black Men conference in Houston. Visitors learned about the importance and influence of the African-American consumer.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.


  • National Society of Hispanic MBAs 9/3/15 LA
    Sears Holdings: Women’s ERG Event 9/10/15 Hoffman Estates, IL
    National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) - Annual Luncheon 9/10/2015 Local (LA)
    Chicago Urban League/Impact Leadership Development Program 9/11/15 Chicago, IL
    National Action Network/Triumph Awards 9/12/2015 National/Atlanta
    League of United Latin American Citizens Council 648/Fiestas Patrias 9/12/2015 National/San Antonio
    Traders Village Houston - Fiesta Patrias 9/13/2015 National/Houston
    National Symposium / National Council of Asian Pacific Americans 9/15/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
  • Girl Scouts/Smart Cookies 9/16/2015 Local (Chi)
    Congressional Black Caucus/Delegate Eleanor Holmes 9/17/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    Norton The Media are the Messengers 9/17/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    Black Women's Agenda/38th Annual Symposium 9/18/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    Congressional Black Caucus/Rep. Alma Adams’ 9/18/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    National/Wash. D.C. HBCU Career Panel and Fair 9/18/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    Congressional Black Caucus/ Rep. Maxine Waters 9/18/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
    National/Wash. D.C. "Young, Gifted and Black 9/18/2015 National/Wash. D.C.
  • Community Build / City of Los Angeles District 10 - Community Event 9/18/2015 Local (LA)
    Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus - Trivia Bowl 9/19/2015 Local (LA)
    ConAgra Foods 9/23/2015 Naperville, IL
    Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce/Monthly Breakfast 9/24/2015 Local (Chi)
    Turner Asia/Turner Research: 3rd Asian American consumer report 9/24/2015 Atlanta GA
    Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) - Community Event (SERIES) 9/25/2015 Local (LA)
    NJ Chinese American Chamber of Commerc/ 11th Anniversary 9/25/2015 Local (NYC)
    Community Reception & Jump Start College Tour 2/ Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF ) ( 3 of 5) 9/26/2015 National/NYC
    Chicago Foundation for Women/30th Annual Luncheon & Symposium 9/29/2015 Local (Chi)
  • LA's Promise - Annual Gala (SERIES) 9/30/2015 Local (LA)
    The Kaitz Dinner/ Walter Kaitz Foundation 9/30/2015 Local (NYC)
    Annual Summit/Target Market News TBD Local (Chi)


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    See Nielsen's Full-page ad in ESSENCE Magazine (September Edition)

  • Media 02

    Tune-in to AM Drive Radio and hear Nielsen ads on Tom Joyner Morning Show, Steve Harvey Morning Show and The Yolanda Adams Morning Show

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    Connected? Look-out for Nielsen online and mobile banner ads on your favorite news, entertainment and lifestyle sites, blogs and apps

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
CONNECTING THROUGH CULTURE: African-Americans Favor Diverse Advertising View


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