What you need to know

The Black population represents roughly 14% of the US population, and $1 trillion in spending power. The growth in the Black population and buying power continue to outpace that of Whites. Black consumers lead very hectic busy lives they work hard and play harder. They find enjoyment and entertainment in the simple things in life from watching their favorite TV show to dining out or going to the park or beach. Watching movies and TV shows is a popular pastime, whether at home or at a friend’s house. This gives them greater exposure to TV ads, which they are highly receptive to. In addition to TV, Blacks are very active socially, especially Millennials and men.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Blacks and Entertainment – US, July 2012. Readers of this report may also be interested in the following reports related to leisure and entertainment:

  • Lifestyles of Young Families – US, March 2015
  • Grilling and Barbecuing – US, March 2015
  • Black Millennials – US, February 2015
  • Black Consumers and Dining Out – US, January 2015
  • The Arts and Crafts Consumer – US, January 2015
  • Family Leisure Trends – US, January 2015
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts – US, February 2015
  • Live Entertainment – US, December 2014
  • Movie Theaters – US, November 2014
  • Cause Marketing – US, November 2014
  • Gamers and Gaming – US, September 2014
  • Marketing to Sports Fans – US, July 2014
  • Casino and Casino-style Gambling – US, June 2014
  • Black Consumers and Social Media – US, June 2014
  • Living Online – US, May 2014
  • American Lifestyles 2014: Looking Forward – US, April 2014
  • The Shopping Experience of Black Consumers – US, April 2014
  • Streaming Media Music – US, January 2014


This report offers an overview of Black consumers’ lifestyles and entertainment. Its coverage includes: main in-home activities and out-of-home activities, as well as factors and attitudes that affect how Blacks decide what activities to do and which events to attend. Where applicable, findings are analyzed by race/Hispanic origin and key demographics such as age and gender.

Value figures throughout this report are at rsp (retail selling prices) excluding sales tax unless otherwise stated.

Data sources

Expenditure data

Expenditure estimates are based on specific product and service categories included in Personal Consumption Expenditures developed by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey. CE Survey data was used to estimate the share of entertainment categories accounted for by different segments of the population; dollar values are based on the BEA expenditure estimates.

Entertainment expenditures include the following categories:

  • Fees and admissions include membership dues for social, recreation, health and other clubs and cultural institutions; participant fees for sports centers and lessons; admissions to amusement parks, campgrounds, other recreational services; admissions to live entertainment, including movies, concerts, sports events; admissions to museums, movie theaters, etc.

  • Audio-visual equipment and services include televisions, radios, stereos, DVD players, digital media players, and other entertainment-related electronics and accessories, including installation and repair; cable/satellite television and radio services; streaming media, movie rentals; video gaming hardware/software and online gaming expenditures; games, apps, ringtones for handheld devices; photo and video equipment and services.

  • Other entertainment products and services include sports equipment and supplies; recreation equipment and supplies for boating, hunting, fishing, etc., including vehicles, guns, and ammunition; bicycles and accessories; recreational books and musical instruments.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Lightspeed GMI to explore Black consumers’ lifestyle, leisure and entertainment behaviors inside the home and while they’re away from home. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in January 2015 among a sample of 1,000 Black adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

For this study, Mintel applies post-stratification weights to survey respondents so that results are proportionally balanced to the entire US Black adult population. Please note that Mintel’s exclusive surveys are conducted online and in English only. Black adults who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in Mintel’s survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons NHCS (National Hispanic Consumer Study). The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS was carried out during August 2013-September 2014 and the results are based on the sample of 24,053 adults and 2,315 Blacks aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population/US adult Black population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report:

BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
CE Consumer Expenditures
NHCS National Hispanic Consumer Study (Experian Simmons)
QSR Quick-service restaurants
MPAA Motion Picture Association of America


Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II /Swing generation Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 83 or older in 2015. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 70-82 in 2015.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Gen Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2015, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2015, iGens are between the ages of 8 and 20.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet unnamed generation are younger than age 8.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

In order to provide an inflation-adjusted price value for markets, Mintel uses the CPI to deflate current prices. The CPI is defined as follows:

CPI The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The CPI and its components are typically used to adjust other economic series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples of series adjusted by the CPI include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the national income and product accounts. In addition, and in Mintel reports, the CPI is used as a deflator of the value of the consumer’s dollar to find its purchasing power. The purchasing power of the consumer’s dollar measures the change in the value to the consumer of goods and services that a dollar will buy at different dates.

The CPI is generally the best measure for adjusting payments to consumers when the intent is to allow consumers to purchase, at today’s prices, a market basket of goods and services equivalent to one that they could purchase in an earlier period. It is also the best measure to use to translate retail sales into real or inflation-free dollars.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics definition.

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