University of Georgia

Minorities’ buying power

plants sprouting out of piles of coins
May 10, 2016

Growth in the U.S. economy is increasingly driven by Hispanic and Asian American consumers—to the tune of $2 trillion per year—according to The Multicultural Economy 2015 report from UGA’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

This annual report, which provides a comprehensive statistical overview of the buying power of African Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Hispanics for the country and each of its states, projected that total U.S. buying power in 2015 would amount to $13.5 trillion, a 213 percent increase from 1990, driven by an increasingly diverse population.

For example, the U.S. Hispanic market in 2015 was estimated to be $1.3 trillion, which is larger than the GDP of Mexico. In 2020, that figure is expected to reach $1.7 trillion. The Asian American market, comprising 18.3 million consumers, was thought to be $825 billion in 2015 and should grow to $1.1 trillion in 2020.

“The Asian and Hispanic markets will really drive U.S. consumer spending,” said Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center. “Those two groups will account for a disproportionate amount of growth. The African American market will still expand at a rate that’s compelling, but the Asian and Hispanic markets are where you’ll see the really fast-paced growth.”

The report estimates that African American buying power was $1.2 trillion in 2015 and will reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, up from $320 billion in 1990.

These data can help businesses in numerous ways, such as in fine-tuning their marketing efforts toward specific groups of consumers, Humphreys said.

UGA research scientist
Jeff Humphreys is the director of UGA’s Simon S. Selig, Jr. Center for Economic Growth.