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Asian-American Buying Power Set to Soar


Customers wait in line to shop for 'Black Friday' discounts at a Best Buy store on Nov. 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.

Customers wait in line to shop for 'Black Friday' discounts at a Best Buy store on Nov. 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.

While Asian-Americans proved to be a growing force in politics during the 2012 election, they are also set to make dramatic impacts on the American marketplace.

According to a recent Nielsen report, “State of the Asian-American Consumer,” the buying power of Asian-Americans will increase from around $718 billion now to over $1 trillion in the next five years, thanks to a quickly growing population backed by high household incomes. That would make the Asian-American community the 18th largest economy in the world, according to the report.

"The findings of the Nielsen report reinforces the growing influence of the Asian American community,” said Mee Moua, the president and executive director of the Asian-American Justice Center, which works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian-Americans. “Nielsen’s report is another important demonstration of the potential Asian-American force as a consumer. The growing political and economic power of the community can no longer be underestimated or overlooked.”

Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, numbering over 18 million in the 2010 census. The population has grown 50 percent since 2000, including in states that are not traditionally centers of Asian-American community. In 49 of 50 states, the population has grown by double-digit rates.

According to Nielsen, the median household income for Asian-Americans is 28 percent higher than the U.S. average. Furthermore, half of Asian-Americans over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 28 percent nationwide.

The result is that Asian-Americans are poised to exercise considerable influence in the American marketplace.

“With their significant buying power and growing population that stems from a continuous wave of immigration, the Asian-American consumer group is one that marketers simply cannot ignore,” said Frank Piotrowski, Senior Vice President of Measurement Science at Nielsen.

These sentiments were echoed by Bill Imada, a member of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, who said he anticipates seeing more marketing and news targeted at Asian-Americans in the near future.

“As more and more Asians and Asian-Americans acculturate, there will be an even greater demand for television and cable programs that reflect the diversity of the Asian-American community,” he said. “We’re already seeing more Asian Americans in television commercials. Hopefully, we’ll start to see even more Asians and Asian-Americans in senior-level positions at advertising, marketing and entertainment companies.”

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