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Family Dynamics of Black Consumers - US - May 2015

“Black families are very different from other families, due in part to household dynamics. Although there has been some improvement over the years in how Black families are depicted in advertising, many ads today are still viewed as stereotypical or not inclusive of the lifestyle of Black families. It’s important now more than ever given the population and spending power growth for marketers to engage with Black consumers”

– Tonya Roberts, Multicultural Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • How are family dynamics different for Blacks than they are for other families?
  • What are some of the core values of Black families?
  • What stereotypes should be avoided when depicting Black families?

There are more than 16 million Black households in the US – more than any other multicultural group. The vast majority of Black households are headed by single people. This has strong implications on the dynamics within the family, and how brands would depict Black families in their advertising.

With a buying power projected to reach nearly $1.3 trillion by 2018, brands will benefit from learning about how family dynamics shape Black households. Marketers who get an understanding of how their brands and products fit into this dynamic will be in a better position to reach them in meaningful ways. This is the first report of its kind on family dynamics among Black consumers.

This report offers an overview of the family dynamics that take place in Black households. Its coverage includes: parenting styles, impact success and culture has on family dynamics, decision making within the family, family leisure activities, etc. Where applicable, findings are analyzed by race/Hispanic origin and key demographics such as parental status and marital status.

The dynamics that exist in Black families is very different than it is for other race groups, and even within the Black community. There are many factors that contribute to the differences, but the fact that Black households are most often headed by women plays a key role. Even when there is a male figure (dad or grandfather), the female in the household is usually the one who sets boundaries for parenting, household finances, activities the family is involved in, etc. There are a lot of negative stereotypes about Black family dynamics. Perhaps two of the biggest typecasts are domineering or angry Black women/mothers, and the absence of Black fathers. To avoid stereotypes and alienating Blacks, marketers have to be careful how they depict Black families, whether it’s in casting (absence of men), and interactions between children and their parents and other elders.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Consumer survey data
          • Consumer qualitative research
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
                • Terms
                • Executive Summary

                    • Black families by the numbers
                      • Figure 1: Number of Black family households, by race/Hispanic origin of householder, 2014
                    • Marketing strategies
                      • The consumer
                        • Blacks believe strongly in disciplining, open communication, and rewarding
                          • Figure 2: Attitudes about disciplining children, by gender of parent, January 2015
                        • Married people and moms have strongest familial bond
                          • Figure 3: Family relationships and closeness, by marital status, January 2015
                        • Money isn’t the key to success, personal sacrifices made to make family happy
                          • Figure 4: Sacrifices made for family, by gender of parent, January 2015
                        • Blacks embrace other cultures while celebrating their own heritage
                          • Blacks more likely than others to be sole decision makers
                            • Blacks give kids greater responsibility at young age
                              • Parents lead more active lifestyle than nonparents – inside and outside home
                                • Figure 5: Top five activities Blacks participate in, by parental status, January 2015
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                  • How are family dynamics different for Blacks than they are for other families?
                                    • The issues
                                      • The implications
                                        • What are some of the core values of Black families?
                                          • The issues
                                            • The implications
                                              • What stereotypes should be avoided when depicting Black families?
                                                • The issues
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • Trend Application

                                                      • Trend: Unfairer Sex
                                                        • Trend: Patriot Games
                                                          • Trend: Who are the Joneses?
                                                          • Black Families by the Numbers

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Blacks households outnumber other multicultural groups, most headed by women
                                                                • Figure 6: Number of households in US, by race/Hispanic origin of householder, January 2015
                                                              • Black households nearly four times as Whites to be headed by women
                                                                • Figure 7: Household living situation, by race/Hispanic origin, 2014
                                                              • Only one third of Blacks are married, compared to 50% or more of others
                                                                • Figure 8: Marital status of people aged 18 or older, by race and Hispanic origin, 2013
                                                              • Blacks twice as likely never to marry
                                                                • Figure 9: Marital status of adults aged 18 or older, by race/Hispanic origin, 2013
                                                                • Figure 10: Marital status of Blacks, by age, 2013
                                                                • Figure 11: Marital status of Black adults, by gender, 2013
                                                              • More than one quarter of Black households are headed by women
                                                                • Figure 12: Household type, by race of householder, 2013
                                                              • More Black children born to unmarried women in 2012
                                                                • Figure 13: Fertility rate, by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 2002-12
                                                                • Figure 14: Percentage of births to unmarried mothers, by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 2002 and 2012
                                                                • Figure 15: Households with own children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                • Figure 16: Who children live with, by race and Hispanic origin, 2012
                                                                • Figure 17: Black households, by presence and ages of own children, 2013
                                                              • Households headed by father only resumes upward trend in 2010
                                                                • Figure 18: Family households headed by the father only, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                              • Overview
                                                                • Brand Analysis: Ad Council
                                                                  • Fatherhood
                                                                    • UNCF
                                                                      • Let’s Move!
                                                                        • US Forest Services
                                                                          • Brand Analysis: AT&T
                                                                            • Overview of Mintel’s Black advertising segments
                                                                              • Cluster #1: Cultural Activists (53% of the Black population)
                                                                                • Cluster #2: Cultural-listics (28% of the Black population)
                                                                                  • Cluster #3: Cultural Advocates (19% of the Black population)
                                                                                  • Parenting Style

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Black parents strive to give their kids the things they didn’t have as a child
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Attitudes toward spoiling their kids, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                      • Few differences in parenting style between married and unmarried Blacks
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Attitudes about disciplining children, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                      • Women have stronger views on disciplining children
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Attitudes about disciplining children, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                      • Open communication and teaching children to be independent are essential
                                                                                        • Figure 22: General attitudes toward parenting, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                      • In their words
                                                                                        • Moms more likely to maintain an open dialogue with children
                                                                                          • Figure 23: General attitudes toward parenting, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Young families’ parenting attitudes – Any agree, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                      • Importance of Family

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Married people have stronger familial bond
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Family relationships and closeness, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                          • Children are likely the glue that holds the family together
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Family relationships and closeness, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                        • Impact of Success on Family Dynamics

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Blacks and Hispanics more ambitious about career and entrepreneurship
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Attitudes toward career and entrepreneurship, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                            • Married people more likely to make sacrifices for family
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Attitudes toward sacrifice for family, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                            • Moms sacrifice personal goals, dads sacrifice family time to get ahead
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Attitudes toward sacrifice for family, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                            • Women worry about future of Blacks, fewer opportunities for women
                                                                                              • Figure 30: How race and gender impede success, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                            • Blacks place less value on money, having it doesn’t define them
                                                                                              • Figure 31: General attitudes toward success, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                            • Differences exist by parental status, male nonparents stand out as very different
                                                                                              • Figure 32: General attitudes toward success, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                          • Role Culture Plays in Family Dynamics

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Discrimination still exists, especially for Black men
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Attitudes toward discrimination, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Attitudes toward discrimination, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                              • Blacks receptive to other cultures, but not at the expense of losing Black identity
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Level of cultural connection, by marital status, January 2015
                                                                                              • Blacks want the government to do more in the US, focus less on overseas
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Attitudes toward globalism, by gender and parental status, January 2015
                                                                                            • Household Decision Making

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • The majority of Blacks are key influencers for household purchases
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Level of influence on household purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                • Blacks are sole decision maker for large ticket items
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Household purchasing decisions – Sole decision maker, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                • Black children play a key role in responsibilities in the household
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Young families’ division of household responsibilities – Me, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2015
                                                                                              • Leisure Activities

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Family time is important, but sacrifices for career often made
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Parents’ attitudes toward spending time with family, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                  • Parents nearly twice as likely as nonparents to stream movies/TV shows
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: TV and video engagement at least once a week, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Parents are heavier gamers, children likely big influencers
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Engagement with gaming at least once a week, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Cooking and hosting parties at home more prevalent among parents
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Cooking and entertaining in-home – at least once a month, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Parents lead a more active social life away from home
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Social activities that Blacks do at least once a month away from home, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Parents more likely to watch movies at someone else’s house or theater
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Engagement with TV away from home and movie theater attendance – At least once a month, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Black parents more likely to participate in physical activities and parks
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Fitness and outdoor activities that Blacks do at least once a month, by parental status, January 2015
                                                                                                • Appendix – The US Black Population

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Buying power
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Buying power trends among Black consumers, 1990-2018 (projections)
                                                                                                      • Black buying power is growing at a faster rate than that of White consumers
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Changes in buying power, by race, June 2013
                                                                                                      • Black buying power more than $1 trillion
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Top 10 states or areas ranked by share of Black buying power, 2013
                                                                                                      • Top 10 states with highest buying power represent two thirds of buying power
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Top 10 states ranked by value of Black buying power, 2013
                                                                                                      • Population statistics
                                                                                                        • Black population growing at a faster rate than Whites
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2010-20
                                                                                                        • Children younger than 18 account for 26% of Black population
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Black population, by age, 2010-20
                                                                                                        • Geographic concentration
                                                                                                          • Majority of Blacks reside in the South; a different marketing approach may be needed
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Black geographic concentration, by region, 2010
                                                                                                          • Population grows in the South, reverse migration may be occurring
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Top 20 states or areas with highest Black population and percentage change from 2000-10
                                                                                                          • New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Houston are top Black metros
                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Top 10 cities with the largest population of Blacks, 2010
                                                                                                          • More than 80% of Detroit’s and Jackson’s population is Black
                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Top 10 cities with the highest percentage of Blacks [in millions], 2010
                                                                                                          • Gender
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Men by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Women by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                                                                          • Generations
                                                                                                            • iGeneration and Millennials represent nearly half of Black population
                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Population of generations, by race/Hispanic origin, 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Distribution of population by race and generation, 2015
                                                                                                            • Education
                                                                                                              • Majority of Blacks seek college, while others may be relying on entrepreneurship
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Educational attainment of Blacks aged 25 or older, by age, 2012
                                                                                                              • Income
                                                                                                                • Blacks have lower household incomes, attributed to several factors besides occupation
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                                                                • Average incomes up 17% in a 10-year period
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Median household income for households headed by blacks, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2003-13
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Black Advertising Firms

                                                                                                                  • Burrell Communications Group
                                                                                                                    • Carol H. Williams (CHWA)
                                                                                                                      • Commonground
                                                                                                                        • GlobalHue
                                                                                                                          • LimeGreen
                                                                                                                            • Muse Communications
                                                                                                                              • Sanders/Wingo Advertising
                                                                                                                                • UniWorld Group
                                                                                                                                  • Walton Isaacson
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Black Community Organizations

                                                                                                                                      • 100 Black Men of America, Inc
                                                                                                                                        • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc
                                                                                                                                          • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
                                                                                                                                            • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.®
                                                                                                                                                • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
                                                                                                                                                  • National Black MBA Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW)
                                                                                                                                                      • National Grand Lodge of Prince Hall Masons and Order of the Eastern Star
                                                                                                                                                        • National Urban League
                                                                                                                                                          • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
                                                                                                                                                            • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                • Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)
                                                                                                                                                                  • American Advertising Federation (AAF)
                                                                                                                                                                    • American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)
                                                                                                                                                                      • American Marketing Association (AMA)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
                                                                                                                                                                          • Digital Media Association (DiMA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Generations United
                                                                                                                                                                              • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
                                                                                                                                                                                • International Advertising Association (IAA)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Social Media Association (SMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • WOMMA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Family Dynamics of Black Consumers - US - May 2015

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