A Multicultural Economy

Georgia is the nation’s 10th largest consumer market, thanks to advances in buying power among African-American, Asian and Hispanic populations in the state.

Georgia will continue to enjoy enviable growth in buying power this year. Its climb from $101 billion in 1990 to $198 billion in 2000 will be surpassed by a leap to $278 billion.

The 1990-2007 percentage increase is 176 percent, ahead of the 134 percent advance in the nation’s total buying power. Only six states will experience faster growth in total buying power: Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Texas. Georgia currently is the nation’s 10th largest consumer market, up three places from 13th in 1990.

Contributing to this growth are advances in buying power among several different groups within the state.

Georgia, for instance, is one of the nation’s most attractive African-American consumer markets, based on size (ranks third), concentration (ranks fourth) and a relatively high rate of growth (ranks 12th). Indeed, no state with a large black consumer market will see such buying power grow faster than Georgia.

The state’s black buying power has climbed from $16.1 billion in 1990 to $38.3 billion in 2000 to $58 billion in 2007. This impressive expansion will allow Georgia to advance from seventh in the 1990 national rankings to third in the 2007 rankings. The 1990-2007 percentage increase will be 259 percent, surpassing the 176 percent rise in the state’s total buying power and far outstripping the 166 percent increase in black buying power for the nation as a whole.

African-American consumers in Georgia account for 20.8 percent of the state’s total buying power. Blacks’ market share in 2007 is up 4.8 percentage points from the 1990 share of 16 percent. No other state posted a larger gain in market share, but both Mississippi and Maryland also posted advances of 4.8 percent.

Georgia is home to the nation’s third-fastest growing Asian consumer market. In 2007, the state’s Asian market will rank 14th in size, advancing from 15th in 1990. Current data show that Georgia’s Asian buying power will rise to $8.1 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2000, and far beyond the $1.1 billion mark set in 1990. The impressive 624 percent increase in Asians’ buying power ranks third among states, surpassed only by gains in Nevada and North Carolina.

Asians’ share of Georgia’s consumer market will be 2.9 percent in 2007, up from 1.1 percent in 1990. In comparison, Asians’ share of U.S. buying power will be 4.6 percent in 2007, up from 2.7 percent in 1990.

Buying power in the state’s robust Hispanic market soared from $1.3 billion in 1990, to $6.3 billion in 2000, and will reach $13.6 billion in 2007. This remarkable jump in dollar power will make Georgia the nation’s 10th largest Hispanic market in 2007, compared to its 1990 rank of 19th. No other group in Georgia moved up in the rankings that dramatically. In fact, Georgia’s non-Hispanic buying power rose by only three spots, from 13th in 1990 to 10th in 2007.

In 2007, Georgia’s Hispanic buying power will overshadow its 1990 value by 924 percent, a percentage gain that is triple the 307 percent increase in U.S. Hispanic buying power. This breakneck growth places Georgia fourth in the ranking of “fast growing” Hispanic markets, topped by Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. In contrast, Georgia ranks seventh in the growth rate of non-Hispanic buying power.

Market share is increasingly concentrated, too, climbing from 1.3 percent in 1990 to 4.9 percent in 2007. This is smaller than Hispanics’ 8.6 percent share of U.S. buying power, however. The below-national-average market share claimed by Hispanics in Georgia suggests that in order to reach Hispanic consumers cost effectively, it’s essential to target marketing efforts. Georgia also has a small but flourishing Native American consumer market. In 2007, American Indian buying power is expected to equal $699 million, up from $445 million in 2000 and from $169 million in 1990. The 1990-2007 percentage change will be 313 percent, well above the 190 percent increase expected for the nation as a whole.

Accordingly, Georgia will be the nation’s sixth fastest growing American Indian consumer market. This market segment is not very concentrated, however. In 2007, Native Americans will account for just 0.3 percent of the state’s overall consumer market, just slightly higher than the group’s 0.2 percent share in 1990.

Nationally, American Indians account for 0.6 percent of total buying power, slightly higher than their 0.5 percent share in 1990.

Categories: Economic Development Features, Features