America’s economy continued to grow and diversify while recovering from COVID-19

Nearly 17.5 % of buying power in the U.S. belongs to African American, Asian American or a Native American households
Cropped cover image from the 2022 Multicultural Economy Report

In the rebound from the COVID-19 recession the buying power of American households continued to grow and diversify in 2021.

According to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth’s annual Multicultural Economy Report, America’s buying power totaled $18.5 trillion in 2021 — a 329 percent increase since the research series’ first report in 1990.

With the release of the 2022 report, the Selig Center issued new estimates of minority buying power for the U.S. and its 50 states. The takeaway: nearly $1 out of every $5.75 of buying power in the U.S. — 17.4% — belongs to an African American, Asian-American or Native American household.

For business leaders, this means success hinges on learning how to market goods and services to more diverse markets, said Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

“The Selig Center’s buying power estimates indicate the growing economic power of various racial and ethnic groups, measure the vitality of geographic markets, help gauge business opportunities, suggest the potential for new and existing products, and guide advertising campaigns,” he said.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and other sources, the Selig Center estimates the buying power for African American, Asian American and Native American consumers is up from $458 billion in 1990 to $3.2 trillion in 2021.

Hispanic households also saw a continued increase in buying power from $213 billion in 1990 to $2.1 trillion in 2021. Hispanic households increased from 5% of the total consumer market in 1990 to 11.3% in 2021.

The report defines consumer buying power as total personal income after taxes.

Many factors drive the diversification of the U.S. consumer market, including population growth, favorable demographics, entrepreneurial activity and rising educational attainment, Humphreys said.

This year’s report also paints a picture of where Americans are moving their families and finding the best job prospects.

The states with the largest increase in buying power mirror those with the fastest growth in their populations and industrial bases. The 10 states with the biggest boost in consumer buying power between 2010 and 2021 are Utah (102%), Colorado (91%), Washington (89%), Idaho (88%), Oregon (80%), Arizona (78 %), California (77%), Texas (77%), Nevada (77%) and Florida (75%).

The states where consumer buying power grew more slowly include West Virginia, Alaska, Connecticut, Maryland and Louisiana.

A public service and outreach unit of the Terry College of Business, the Selig Center has produced a Multicultural Economy report each year since 1990, except for 2020, when data disruptions following the COVID-19 pandemic delayed production. The 57-page report with supporting data tables is available to the public at