The U.S. African American population is expanding both in
pure numbers and in buying power and has a major influence on technological and
media trends, according to a comprehensive BET survey of the African-American
community released Tuesday (Jan. 26).
According to "African Americans Revealed" - a study of more
than 80,000 African-American consumers over 18-month span broken down into
several individual research reports -- African Americans in 2008 accounted for
a 10% increase in population from 2008 versus 2000, while African-American
buying power increased more than 55% during the same period to $913 billion. By
the year 2013 black buying power will reach $1.2 trillion dollars, a whopping
35% increase versus 2008, according to BET.
The "African Americans Revealed" report on multi-media
engagement and digital applications shows that African-Americans are very tech
savvy, with roughly 31% of African American discretionary spending dollars, or
$39 billion, going toward the purchase of computers, cell phones and
electronics - a proportionally higher percentage when compared to
non-African-Americans, according to the survey.
African Americans also spend more weekly time online (18
hours) than watching television (15 hours). Further, 93% of African-Americans
go online traditionally via their PC's, while 76% access the web via their cell
phones. Approximately 60% of African Americans have downloaded music, a TV
show, movie or ringtone in the previous month, while 50% regularly update and
access a social networking account regularly.
Other report findings include a segmentation study, which
revealed that African-Americans are not a monolithic group but rather break
down into seven distinct groups defined by similar characteristics, including
buying power and habits, media consumption, and influences.
The Strivers are mostly in their late 20's to early 40's and
are adventurous, fashionable, social mavens and opinion leaders who have their
eyes on climbing the executive ladder; Conscious Sisters are selfless women that are
spiritually connected and highly conscious of their culture; Tech-Fluentials
are digitally savvy and travel in globally conscious circles; Bright Horizons
are young adults in high school and college that are aware of all available
technology and electronic gadgets;Inner Circle Elites are working
women rich in their cultural, ancestral and spiritual roots; Urban Dreamers are
young, urban adults who are social magnets and trend setters intent on and
focused on living life to the fullest; and Survivors are a group of risk-taking
teen and young adult males who are hustling to keep their existence in check.
"African Americans Revealed shows us that the black
community should never be referred to as one homogeneous population," said
Matthew Barnhill, Senior VP of Corporate Research at BET Networks. "We hope
this report will help organizations better connect with an audience and
intimately recognize all of its complexities."
The report also looks at the structure of the African
American family, with Couples with Children representing the largest group,
followed by Empty Nesters, Single Moms, Kinship Caregivers, Multiple Adults and
A 2010 Census study within "African Americans Revealed"
predicts that the upcoming Census count will find that 42 million
African-Americans reside in the U.S.,
a 13.4% increase from the 2000 Census - a higher growth rate than the projected
9.8% increase for the total U.S.