NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Aftertax Income Up For U.S. Blacks

July 30, 1998

By next year, the purchasing power of black consumers is expected to be 73 percent higher than it was in 1990, according to a University of Georgia study released yesterday. That tremendous surge is being attributed to the strong U.S. economy, tight job markets and dramatic education gains.

  • Black buying power -- defined as total personal income after taxes -- will surpass $500 billion this year and reach $532.7 billion next year.
  • Total U.S. buying power is projected to have risen 57 percent from 1990 through 1999 -- 16 percentage points less than the gain in black buying power.
  • Last year, for the first time, high school completion rates for whites and blacks were the same, according to Census Bureau data.
  • The five states with the highest estimated take-home pay for black consumers in 1999 are New York, California, Texas, Florida and Georgia -- ranging from $60.9 billion in New York to $30.4 billion in Georgia.

Still, the typical black household has less than 20 cents of wealth for every dollar owned by the typical white family. Calvin Boston, publisher of Moneywise magazine for African Americans says: "We can't just be consumers, we need to create wealth."

Source: Beth Belton, "Black Buying Power Soaring," USA Today, July 30, 1998.


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