smartphone, iPhone (188698)
Credit: Pixabay

The Nielsen 2016 study, “Young, Connected and Black: African-American Millennials Are Driving Social Change and Leading Digital Advancement” highlights the digital use of Black millennials and cultural and political influences.

The study is part of Nielsen’s “Diverse Intelligence Series,” a “robust portfolio of comprehensive reports that focus solely on diverse consumers’ unique consumption and purchasing habits.”

“Young, Connected and Black” focuses on Black millennials and specifically highlights what we already know about the Black youth and technology. Fifty-five percent of Black millennials report spending at least one hour a day on social networking sites, which is 6 percent higher than all millennials. Twenty-nine percent of Black millennials say they spend at least three hours a day on such sites, 9 percent higher than all millennials.

With politics becoming a driving force in 2016, millions of internet users have used the hashtag #blacklivesmatter to speak up about police brutality and other issues that are important to the Black community.

Nielsen describes this report as, “a decade of economic and educational prosperity that propels Black America’s viral vanguard, led by 11.5 million digitally empowered persuaders.”

A key component of this study is the buying power of the Black youth. It is important to note that Black millennials have an impact on music, fashion trends and every aspect of pop culture, making the group very influential. The Black youth have $162 billion in buying power and are projected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020.

“Millennials are very engaged in this election cycle,” said Deven D. Anderson, senior adviser of the Back Youth Vote campaign. “This is the first election where the majority of Black and Latino voters have the ability to take the country in a different direction.”

According to the Nielsen study, the 83.1 million U.S. millennials are considered a key voting bloc this November. Black millennials represent 14 percent of all millennials and 25 percent of the total Black population, and the top five markets for Black millennials (by population) are New York, Atlanta, Chicago, D.C. and South Florida (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale).

This study serves as a resource for advertisers to target the Black youth and to sell products made by white companies to Black youth.

“African-American millennials are blazing trails to the center of the debate over matters that are paramount to their future success and safety—all as their influence over mainstream consumers grows,” said Deborah Gray-Young, managing partner, D. Gray-Young Inc., a multicultural marketing consulting firm and Nielsen External Advisory Council member. “Nielsen continues to be the definitive source of independent third-party insights on consumers of color. This annual report is an essential tool for organizations looking to develop a deeper contextual understanding of the influence and economic power of Black consumers.”