Answered By: Mallory Stark
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2017     Views: 245

Filling the Gap: Underserved Markets in the Black Community 

Use these resources to validate the need underlying your business idea.
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Suggested Resources

Consumer Demographics

Demographic profiles of potential target customers                                       


United States Census Bureau- Demographic characteristics, total population, social, and economic census data for the U.S. and international locations. Useful in determining market size. To generate data by subject, ethnic groups or geographical locations use the American FactFinder.

  Detailed data about American communities including jobs and occupations, educational attainment, employment status, school enrollment, health, housing, and more      

American Community Survey - An ongoing statistical survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, is sent to approximately 250,000 addresses monthly seeking data about age, sex, race, family and relationships, disabilities, where residents work and how they get there, where residents live and how much they pay for some essentials, income and benefits, health insurance, education, and veteran status.  See list of survey subjects.  

PolicyMap - A web-based Geographic Information System capturing data in maps, tables, and reports.  Includes demographics, home sale statistics, health data, mortgage trends, school performance scores and labor data like unemployment, crime statistics and city crime rates.

Competitors & Business Demographics


Tables and maps that include industry-wide or regional statistics, such as the number of companies by employment size and level of specialization, classified by the industry of the establishment 


Information on specific competitors or an industry

SimplyMap - Generate tables and maps based upon desired United States data, including population, age, race, income, employment, and education.

Business Analyst Online - U.S. Business and demographic data by means of interactive map application.

United States Census: Business and Industry - Business and industry economic statistics by geography and by survey/frequency.

United States Census: County Business Patterns - 
Annual economic data by industry in small areas of the country.

OneSource Global Business Browser - Create lists of companies by criteria including industry, location, and size.  Under Companies menu, click "Build a list".  Also get analyst reports, market data and industry news & ratios.

Hoover's Online - Company profiles and industry overviews including trends & opportunities, and business challenges.  Also includes "Build a list" feature.

Factiva - For information on competitors and their products, search this database of business and news publications, trade journals, newswires (e.g., Dow Jones, Reuters), and media programs. More article databases.

Consumer Lifestyle and Buying Power


Granular level data on income, purchasing power, and lifestyle of American consumers

American Incomes: Demographics of Who Has Money 

Who we are: Blacks 

Who's Buying by Race and Hispanic Origin

Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Asians, Blacks, Native Americans, and Whites

RKMA - Consumer Behavior 2017-2018 report has a section on African-American consumers.

Market Research

Market and industry reports on consumer-facing sectors

Mintel Reports:  Consumer market studies and primary and secondary data analysis on sectors including food, beverage, apparel, retail, and travel. Suggested search strategy: "African Americans or Black Americans and industry" Academic: market research reports covering health care, consumer goods, publishing, manufacturing, and education sectors. Find a report called, African Americans: Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, 2016 by using the search query: "African Americans"

Statista - Demographic and consumer behavior data on African Americans.

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