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Asian-American Buying Power Tops $427 Billion
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New York, Sept. 19, 2006 - Per new statistics released earlier this month by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, Asian consumer annual buying power in the United States has reached $427 billion, representing a 59% increase since the beginning of the decade. Furthermore, Asian buying power has the second fastest projected rate of growth, slightly behind Hispanic buying power. By 2011, Asian buying power will grow 46% over the current benchmark to reach $626 billion.
Reflecting the Asian population distribution by state which was recently documented in the Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey (ACS), California and New York remain in first and second place for annual Asian buying power, with $140.5 billion and $41.5 billion respectively.

New Jersey's Asian buying power has now reached $26.8 billion, followed by Texas with $25.9 billion. Remaining states on the top-10 list include (in rank order): Hawaii ($20.4 billion), Illinois ($18.7 billion), Washington ($13 billion), Virginia ($12.6 billion), Florida ($12.2 billion), and Massachusetts ($10.9 billion). These state figures have grown significantly in the last five years. According to Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center, only six states had more than $10 billion in Asian buying power in 2000, whereas 11 states have already reached that benchmark in 2006.

Although the financial services, automotive, and telecommunications sectors have long recognized the value of Asian consumers in their marketing programs, many marketers in other categories have yet to consider the viability of Asian-targeted programs. Such categories include consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, travel & leisure, retail, and consumer electronics, among others.

The Selig data also highlights one important characteristic of the Asian American market that many marketers frequently overlook - namely, that Asian consumers wield a disproportionately larger clout in terms of their purchasing power than the absolute size of the Asian population would otherwise imply. "Most often, marketers hesitate in considering Asian programs because they overly focus on the comparatively smaller size of the Asian population vis--vis the larger Hispanic and African American audiences," said Saul Gitlin, Executive Vice President - Strategic Services, Kang & Lee Advertising. "However, while the Asian population may be only one third the size of the Hispanic population, Asian annual buying power already represents 53% of Hispanic buying power. Similarly, since 2000, the total Asian population of the country has grown by almost 20% (per ACS), but Asian buying power growth has outpaced Asian population growth three-fold in the same period. As such, when evaluating whether or not to consider developing an Asian American marketing program, many marketers should transcend a mere analysis of Asian population size in order to better understand the viability and potential bottom-line impact of the opportunity," concluded Gitlin.

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