By: Mark Fitzgerald

White Households Are Spending Less, Researcher Says

CHICAGO – African-American households are increasing their
spending on newspapers while white households are spending less,
says a market researcher specializing in black consumers.

The most recent data available also show that black households on
average now spend slightly more on newspapers than white
households, said Ken Smickle, president of Chicago-based Target
Market News. The data contradict a widely held industry belief
that African Americans tend not to be print consumers – and
particularly not newspaper readers.

“This trend is consistent with what we’ve seen in other areas,”
Smickle said. “African-American households tend to be far more
information-hungry than white households are. They spend more on
average than white households for television, cable, radio,
telephone service, Internet access – and now, apparently,
that’s true about newspapers as well.”

Using U.S. Commerce Department figures, Smickle calculates that
from 1998 to 1999, the most recent data available, black
households increased spending on newspapers by 8%, while white
household spending fell 18%. In the same period, home delivery to
black households jumped 17% while remaining unchanged for white
households, he said.

From 1995 to 1999, Smickle found, spending on home delivery and
newspaper subscriptions rose 5% among black households and dipped
by 2% among white households. Average annual spending on
newspapers in 1999 was $14.71 for African-American households and
$14.21 for white households, Smickle said.

Mark Fitzgerald ( is editor at large for E&P.

Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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