Women of Color Control $722 Billion in Spending

Article excerpt

For marketers promoting products to women, the attitudinal and behavioral differences shaped by race and ethnicity are becoming an increasingly important element in developing consumer marketing programs. Between 1995 and 2003, the number of Black, Hispanic, and Asian women in the U.S. grew 39%--five times faster than the number of non-Hispanic White women (7%). By 2008, women of color will number 37 million and will have $1 trillion in buying power, according to Packaged Facts.

Currently, there are 33 million Black, Hispanic, and Asian women in the U.S., and they wield $722.8 billion in buying power. African American women hold the largest share (46.6%), but Asian American women have the largest percapita buying power.

Women of color make up nearly a third (29%) of all U.S. women. Black women (13.8 million) are the largest segment, followed by Hispanic (12.7 million) and Asian (4.8 million) women. Latinas are expected to outnumber Black women by 2008, however.

Multicultural women's incomes grew faster than those of non-Hispanic White women between 1990 and 2002 (40% compared to 29%), although White women still earn more, on average, than Black and Hispanic women. Asian American women have the highest income level of any group.

A quarter of women of color work in executive, managerial, or professional occupations. Four in 10 Asian women work in high-paying managerial or professional jobs. Black women accounted for two thirds (66%) of associate's and bachelor's degrees awarded to African Americans in 2002, and Hispanic women earned 60% of degrees awarded to Hispanics that year.

Work And Family

Hispanic women tend to marry at a younger age than women of other groups, while Asian women marry later than other women. Black women are least likely to marry. Hispanic women are most likely to have children, and 25% have large families (three or more kids). Asian women are most likely to be childless, and least likely to have large families (12%).

Latinas who have children are more likely than women in other groups to stay home with their kids, while Black moms are more likely than other moms to work. Almost half (48%) of African American households are headed by women.

Women of color are more likely than White women to define success in terms of money, and less likely to believe that time is more important than money. Women of color also place a greater emphasis than White women on success in the workplace. Black, Hispanic, and Asian women are all more likely than White women to describe themselves as workaholics, and to say they're willing to give up family time to advance at work. They're also more interested in getting to the "very top" of their professions.

Shopping Behavior

Women of color are more likely than their White counterparts to say they enjoy shopping, and they tend to shop more often. Women of color are more likely than White women to be influenced by their kids when they shop.

Black women are more likely than women in other groups to be willing to travel a significant distance to visit their favorite stores, while Hispanic and Asian women tend to shop at stores that are conveniently located. All three groups of women prefer national chains over local stores. …