Description

Black Gen Zs, born between 1997 and 2010, account for about 8.9 million of the 59.5 million Gen Zs in the US (about one in five Gen Zs).

As a transitioning group of young adults and teens, Black Gen Zs take pride in their cultural identity, navigating life with confidence shaped by their heritage. However, the pressure to succeed disproportionately affects Black teen girls, who stress more about school than their White counterparts. Finding balance through support systems and self-care is crucial for their well-being. As Black Gen Zs strive for a future different than their parents, financial independence is a key aspect of their success. Despite witnessing many social and economic challenges, Black Gen Zs demonstrate resilience, drawing strength from their experiences and mindset.

Fashion serves asa key expression of their identity, reflecting confidence and self-assurance. For brands and media, representation plays a pivotal role in shaping their loyalty, with authenticity creating trust and connection. Understanding these multifaceted dynamics is essential for empowering and engaging Black Gen Zs in meaningful ways, ensuring their experience is represented authentically.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Overview of Black Gen Zs in the US and cultural context
  • Home life and family dynamics contrasted to all Black consumers, and all adult Gen Zs
  • Lifestyles and milestones contrasted to all Black consumers, and all adult Gen Zs
  • Discretionary spending priorities contrasted to all Black consumers, and all adult Gen Zs
  • Leisure activities and social media attitudes contrasted to all Black consumers, and all adult Gen Zs
  • Authenticity and brand representation contrasted to all Black consumers
  • Black Gen Z teens’ home life, use of and attitudes towards social media, entertainment, socializing and more, contrasted to all Gen Z teens

Black Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, diversity and entrepreneurial success, valuing brands that reflect their identity and aspirations.

Courtney Rominiyi, Multicultural Consumer Insights Analyst

Market Definitions

This Report examines Gen Z attitudes and behaviors from a marketing standpoint. Gen Z consumers are defined as being born 1997-2010. In 2024, members of Gen Z are between the ages of 14 and 27. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has further defined Gen Z consumer segments as the following:

  • Gen Z teens: those aged 14-17
  • Gen Z adults: those aged 18-27

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
    • Reflect Black Gen Zs' home life and family dynamics
    • Leverage social media platforms – and YouTube, in particular, to reach Black Gen Z teens
    • Tap into the nuances of Black Gen Zs' self-perceptions to reflect back what they see in themselves
    • Reach independent Black Gen Z males establishing their own households, but holding off on family
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market context
    • Who are Black Gen Zs and what has shaped them?
    • Black Gen Zs' self-identity is rooted in their heritage
    • Young Black people are confident in their ability to manage money
    • Black Gen Zs are more spiritual than other Gen Zs, and in alignment with the sentiment of the greater Black population
    • Black Gen Z by the numbers
    • Within the US Black population, nearly one in five are Gen Z
    • Graph 1: share of Black population among Gen Z and among total, 2023
    • Graph 2: distribution of US generations, by Black and total population, 2023
    • Diversity increases with each generation
    • Graph 3: distribution of US generations, by race, 2023
    • Graph 4: distribution of US generations, by Hispanic origin, 2023
    • US population, by race and generation, 2023
    • Black households are more prevalent in the South and overindex for urban areas
    • Graph 5: households, by region and race/Hispanic origin, 2021
    • Black consumers are less likely to own a home, impacting Gen Zs' options for living with their parents
    • Graph 6: homeownership rate, by Black vs total (based on origin of householder), 2012-22
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Consumer fast facts, continued
    • Home life and family dynamics
    • Tailor products and marketing strategies to meet the varied living arrangements of Black Gen Z
    • Graph 7: household composition – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Empower independent Black Gen Zs
    • Graph 8: lives with parents – adults, by Black, Gen Z, gender, 2024
    • Fewer Black Gen Zs live with a spouse or partner, but there's possible interest in family
    • Graph 9: lives with spouse/partner – adults, by Black, Gen Z, gender, 2024
    • Market pet products to young Black men – half are pet owners
    • Graph 10: lives with a pet – adults, by Black, Gen Z, gender, 2024
    • Black Gen Z men finding companionship through pets
    • Marketing to parents may still be important for targeting Black Gen Zs, even into their adulthood
    • Graph 11: parental influence – frequency of speaking to a parent, by Black, Gen Z, gender, 2024
    • Analyst POV: Younger Black moms may impact Black Gen Zs' relationship with family
    • Self-centeredness may help Black Gen Z deal with familial pressure
    • Graph 12: attitudes toward family pressure (any agree), by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Gen Z lifestyles and milestones
    • Black Gen Zs are on par with all Gen Zs when it comes to most life milestones/circumstances
    • Graph 13: life circumstances and milestones – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Pressures from responsibilities are impacting lifestyles
    • While Black Gen Zs feel they are behind in life due to the pandemic, they are optimistic about their future
    • Graph 14: general attitudes toward life (any agree), by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Thinking about their finances and the future are stressing out Black Gen Zs
    • Graph 15: stressors and concerns (any rank 1-3)* – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Despite feeling judged, Black Gen Zs appear less impacted by what others think
    • Graph 16: comparison of self to others (any agree), by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Entrepreneurial mindset may be influencing Black Gen Zs' views on higher education
    • Graph 17: attitudes toward the future (any agree), by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Discretionary spending priorities
    • Black Gen Z puts greater emphasis on fashion, entertainment/gaming
    • Graph 18: past year discretionary spending priorities (any rank 1-3)* – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Self-expression and new experiences are central to Black Gen Zs' discretionary spending
    • Graph 19: past year discretionary spending priorities (any rank 1-3)* – by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Target Black Gen Z with bold and relevant luxury initiatives
    • When given the opportunity to spend freely, Black Gen Zs are like Gen Zs, overall, prioritizing clothes and shoes and dining out
    • Graph 20: preferred leisure spending (any rank 1-3)* – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Spending priorities follow expected gender norms – but Black Gen Z men have an unexpected interest in housewares and home decor
    • Graph 21: preferred leisure spending (any rank 1-3)* – Black Gen Z adults, by gender, 2024
    • Leisure activities and social media attitudes
    • Reach Black Gen Zs through gaming, TV and social
    • Graph 22: most enjoyable leisure activities (any rank 1-3)* – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Love games: Help Black Gen Z prioritize romantic relationships through gaming
    • Black Gen Zs are finding their way on social media, balancing authenticity and inclusion
    • Graph 23: attitudes toward social media (any agree), by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Although social media has the benefit of introducing consumers to new information and ideas, Black Gen Zs find social media addicting
    • Graph 24: opinions about social media – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Authenticity and brand representation
    • Stereotypical portrayals can impact Black Gen Zs' relationship with brands
    • Graph 25: perception of stereotypes in media representation, by Black and Gen Z gender, 2024
    • Antennae are up for misrepresentation and inauthenticity
    • Graph 26: recognition and importance of of culturally representative staff in marketing, by Black Gen Z, 2024
    • Expand portrayals of Black Gen Z women to better connect with them
    • Graph 27: sees self represented in advertising, by Black and Gen Z gender, 2024
    • Use Black Gen Zs' self-perceptions as a foundation to understand what matters most to them
    • Graph 28: how adults see themselves – adults, by Black, Gen Z, 2024
    • Bigger isn't always better – smaller/local brands better reflect Black Gen Zs' values and preferences
    • Graph 29: feelings towards brands and reflection of values, by Black and Gen Z gender, 2024
    • Black Gen Z Teens
    • Reflect the realities of Black Gen Z teens' home lives
    • Graph 30: household composition – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • More consistent access to spending money can help promote financial independence
    • Graph 31: ways to earn spending money – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Self-expression and socializing are Gen Z teens' top spending priorities
    • Graph 32: leisure spending priorities (any rank 1-3)* – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Clear differences in spending based on gender and race
    • Graph 33: leisure spending priorities (any rank 1-3)* – Gen Z male teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Graph 34: leisure spending priorities (any rank 1-3)* – Gen Z female teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Recognize the key ways Gen Z teens express themselves, show support and appreciation for their uniqueness
    • Graph 35: expressions of identity (up to five selected)* – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Help Black Gen Z teen girls see the futures they want for themselves
    • "Check-the-box" inclusion without real understanding will read as tokenistic – expect backlash, boycotts and even cancellation
    • Connect through YouTube, TikTok, Instagram
    • Graph 36: daily social media use – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • YouTube's success could be an indicator of dissatisfaction with mainstream media
    • Social media is the arbiter of what is/isn't socially acceptable
    • Graph 37: attitudes toward social media (any agree) – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Tech connection fuels independence and autonomy
    • Graph 38: tech independence "I have my own …" – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Integrate into digitally-based socialization platforms to boost brand awareness and affinity, if done properly
    • Graph 39: most enjoyable activities (any rank 1-3)* – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Black Gen Z teens feel more secure in their relationships, but more stressed by pressure to perform
    • Graph 40: top stressors and concerns (any rank 1-3)* – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Entrepreneurial aspirations are common, so is an expectation for future success
    • Graph 41: attitudes toward family pressure and the future (any agree) – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
    • Security in relationships with others aligns with a greater sense of self-confidence
    • Graph 42: attitudes toward comparing self to others (any agree) – Gen Z teens, by Black vs all, 2024
  4. Marketing strategies

    • Marketing and advertising
    • Nike shows “Black Girl Magic” with Sha’Carri Richardson
    • Fenty Hair continues the Fenty legacy of beauty for all
    • Barbie shows commitment to multicultural representation
    • McDonald's sheds light on Chocolate City's beloved Mambo sauce
  5. Appendix

    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations

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