Excerpt from Ms. Muley’s new book to be released this year, The 85% Niche: The Power of Women of All Colors. Paramount Books.
American women have never looked so good! From full-figured to small delicate frames; from ivory, to olive, and warm chocolate skin tones; from tightly curled coifs, to long, wavy, and silky straight hair; from high cheekbones, to sculpted necklines, the American woman of today is more beautiful, confident, and accomplished than ever before. And, with $1 Trillion dollars in consumer spending–as much money to spend as the entire gross domestic product of countries such as Spain, Mexico, and Canada– women of color are a global juggernaut and an economic force to be reckoned with.
In a nutshell, U.S. women of color are catalyzing sweeping change across every sector in America. From education, to corporations, to the retail markets, women of color embody determination, a passion to succeed, and the stamina to go the distance. They are truly the ?sweet spot? for the 21st century.
FACT: We Are as Large as Spain and Italy
With almost 54 million females, or 35.2% of the U.S. female population of non-Anglo descent, the ?bronzing? of America has resulted in a woman of color population as large as that of many European nations, such as Spain and Italy. For comparison purposes, there are more women of color in the U.S. than there are full time working women. Over the seven-year period from 2000 to 2007, women of color grew +18.7% in population while the non-Hispanic White female population experienced flat performance at +1.1%.
FACT: Nine out of Ten New Females Added to the U.S. Population from 2000 to 2007 was Latina, Black, Asian, or Native American.
Of the 9.6 million females added to the U.S. population during the 2000-2007 time period, 8.5 million were Latina, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American. Higher fertility rates, immigration trends, and the aging of the general market resulted in this phenomenal growth.
FACT: Women of Color Will Grow from the Current 54 Million to 63 Million by 2020 and ultimately to over 100 Million?or Half of the U.S. Female Population by 2050. By comparison and according to U.S. Census projections, non-Hispanic White females will essentially remain flat through 2040 and begin to decline in population by 2050.
FACT: Women of Color Are Young, Offering Greater Lifetime Value as Consumers and as Employees
Women of color are an average eleven years younger than non-Hispanic White females. The average [median] age is 31.2 compared to 42.1 for U.S. females. With these additional eleven years comes the opportunity to generate more sales, more referrals, and more profitability over the lifetime of the customer, who is a disproportionate and heavy user of many disposable products and services. In addition, the youthfulness of women of color coupled with increased levels of educational attainment makes them attractive — truly essential — from a workforce perspective.
FACT: Women of Color Have One Trillion Dollars in Buying Power
The buying power of women of color surged from $200 Billion in 1990 to nearly $1 trillion dollars in 2007. By 2010, the buying power of women of color buying will rise to $1.2 Trillion dollars, a 20% increase over 2007 levels. We earn more and own more than at any other time in recorded history and there is no evidence of progress slowing down. Our spending power is comparable in size to the gross domestic product [GDP] of South Africa, Saudia Arabia, and Switzerland?combined! It is as large as the GDP of Spain, Mexico, and Canada, ranking women of color #10 as a global economy. Among all persons of color, women of color will represent 44% of the $2.7 trillion dollar multicultural wallet projected by the year 2010.
FACT: Women of Color Live in Super Affluent Households
The affluence of the diverse markets and the control held by women of color in managing these households represents yet another opportunity for marketers. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States [Income, Expenditures, and Wealth], 2.3% of all U.S. households earn incomes in excess of $200,000 per year. Approximately 14% of these ?super-affluent? homes are diverse. Based on projections of the numbers of U.S. households in this income bracket for the year 2010, and given the rapid acceleration of demographics, education, employment and entrepreneurship among persons of color, approximately 18% of these homes, or 525,000 households, will be a diverse family, or a ?family of color?.
FACT: Women of Color are Well-Educated and Knowledgeable
The college participation rates of women of color relative to their male counterparts exceed that of women in general. Over 64.3% of all African Americans in college are Black women compared to 55.9% of White women; 58.6% of all Hispanics in college are Hispanic women; 53.8% of all Asian/Pacific Islanders in college are Asian women. Women of color out-rank the number of men in college by a full six percentage points (57% of college students of color are women of color; 43% are men of color).
FACT: Entrepreneurship and Micro Entrepreneurship are the New Underground Railroad
According to The Center for Women?s Business Research, there were 2.4 million 50% or more owned women of color firms, representing 42% of all persons of color owned businesses, up from 36% in 2004. They generated gross sales of $230 billion dollars and employed 1.6 million persons. They own 42% of all firms owned by persons of color, up from 36% in 2004. This figure is slightly ahead of the ownership levels we see on a national scale, where 41% of all businesses are majority owned by women, regardless of ethnicity. Between 1997 and 2006 the number of privately held firms 51% or more owned by women of color grew five times faster than all privately held firms (120% vs. 24%). Entrepreneurship represents the modern ?underground railroad? used by women of color to make significant, below the radar, stealth advances into major wealth and corporate enterprise.
What Companies Do Not Understand
Despite demographic changes, the affluence and education of women of color, they have remained on the fringes, rarely receiving the focus, attention, and understanding that their population, intelligence, influence, and increased affluence warrant. In short, women of color are generating more disposable income than their history, length of residence in this country, language, and limited access to education would suggest possible. They are producing more wealth in this country and doing so at a rate that exceeds their population growth. These are outstanding results that should be celebrated. Women of color have transcended many institutional roadblocks and continue to do so in a way that commands the serious attention of marketers and businesses. They are the ?sweet spot? for 21st century businesses. Have you engaged them in your business plans?
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