We’ve known for a long time that the LGBT community, on average, is an economic tour de force, but new estimates have the community’s “combined buying power” at a record $917 billion (up from last year’s $884 billion). The study, conducted each year by Witeck Communications, uses (DPI), also known as Disposable Personal Income, which is “the amount of money that individuals have available to spend and save after paying taxes and pension contributions to the government (roughly 86% of income).”
“LGBT buying power is an economic marker that helps benchmark America’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities,” said Justin Nelson, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Co-Founder and President. “At NGLCC, we have more than 150 corporate partners that understand not only the value of the LGBT dollar, but the economics of inclusivity and loyalty. Their commitments to our communities prove our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society.”
Witeck agreed that LGBT workers, businesses and consumers are directly shaping the American economy. He said, “Today improved laws, greater visibility and welcoming attitudes help address some of the longstanding discriminatory burdens that LGBT people and same-sex couples face. Nonetheless, LGBT Americans still confront many forms of legal, economic and social inequities in the absence of federal nondiscrimination laws covering employment, housing, public accommodations, healthcare and other aspects of American society. The barriers confronting transgender people are especially severe and must be challenged.”
The study also denotes from the data that millennials, who are the most LGBT-inclusive generation, are more likely to support gay-friendly businesses. “I call this the PFLAG effect – which helps explain the familiar and loyal experiences of younger non-LGBT people towards their LGBT friends, family members and co-workers. Brands today recognize a growing proportion of younger consumers whose attitudes and buying behaviors are directly shaped by LGBT-friendly policies, campaigns and messages.”
For example, in August 2014, according to a Google Consumer Survey, over 45% of all consumers under the age of 34 say they’re more likely to do repeat business with an LGBT-friendly company. A majority of these consumers – more than 54% — also say they would choose an equality-focused brand over a competitor. Keep in mind also that nearly ¾ of millennials support marriage equality, according to Pew Research.