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Black Girl Magic to Propel Black Spending Power Toward $1.5 Trillion by 2021: Nielsen Report

The hashtag #BlackGirlMagic began on social media to celebrate Black women and girls through shared images and ideas.


Nielsen’s (No. 32 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) latest report finds that the hashtag has also become “an illustration of Black women’s unique place of power at the intersection of culture, commerce and consciousness.”

Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. strategic community alliances and consumer engagement at Nielsen

African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic” was released Thursday during an event at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 47th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

“We’re very pleased to have Nielsen present its new comprehensive report on African American consumers,” Waters said.

This report is Nielsen’s seventh look at African American consumers and the second time the company has focused its attention on Black women. It includes never before seen data and consumer insights on Black women’s consumer preferences and brand affinities that are resonating across the U.S. mainstream. Nielsen estimates that the buy habits of Black women will drive Black-spending power toward a record $1.5 trillion by 2021.

Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. strategic community alliances and consumer engagement at Nielsen offered statistics on Black women.

“There are 24.3 million of us,” Grace said on Thursday.

“We make up 14 percent of all American women and 52 percent of all African Americans.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Black women over-index for time spent on social networking sites, using social media more for consumer engagement activities, and social movements adapting their use into communities such as #BlackGirlMagic. Facebook is the top social media site among Black women; however, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are all used by a higher percentage of Black women than they are by total U.S. women.
  • Both population and buying power of Black females are geographically concentrated, with 56 percent of Black women living in the South and 10 states accounting for 62 percent of African-American buying power.
  • Black women are the majority owners in more than 1.5 million businesses with more than $42 billion in sales and $7.7 billion in payroll, making them the ultimate decision makers for purchases of supplies, equipment and raw materials, as well as employee benefit products.
  • In most health and beauty product categories, Black women over-index against non-Hispanic white women for dollars per buyer and buying households

“Black women have strong life-affirming values that spill over into everything they do,” Grace said in a statement. “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.

“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.”

For more information and to download the report, visit Nielsen.com.

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