University of Georgia

Minority groups driving U.S. economy

dollar bils

In 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico and bigger than the economies of all but 14 countries in the world.

That’s just one of the telling statistics that illustrates the unprecedented economic clout of U.S. minority groups in the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at UGA’s Terry College of Business.

The report estimates the nation’s total buying power reached $13.9 trillion in 2016 and predicts it will hit $16.6 trillion by 2021, with minority groups making the fastest gains.

Hispanic buying power increased its economic clout from $495 billion in 2000 to $1.4 trillion in 2016—a 181 percent increase. Black buying power increased 98 percent from 2000 to 2016. And since 2000, Asian buying power has grown 222 percent to $891 billion, the biggest percentage increase of any U.S. minority group. During the same time period, the buying power of whites increased by 79 percent.

“Minority buying power is growing at a faster pace than the white consumer market for a number of reasons, such as demographics, increases in educational attainment and entrepreneurial activity,” said Jeff Humphreys, author of the report and director of the Selig Center.