At the NGLCC conference this year, we learned that the LGBT buying power in the United States has grown year after year to a new high of $917 billion as of 2015. This is up from approximately $830 billion in 2013 and $790 billion in 2012.

The forecast, based on an estimate that as many as 7 percent of adults identify as LGBT, reflects the growing acceptance by society as more people are willing to self-identify, according to an annual study by the Washington-based communications firm, Witeck Communications.

In the Witeck Communications press release Justin Nelson, president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is quoted saying, “LGBT buying power is diverse in ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and we are an incredibly loyal constituency.” He goes on to say, “At NGLCC, we have more than 140 corporate partners that recognize not only the influence of the LGBT dollar, but the economics of inclusivity.” Read the full press release.

In comparison, purchasing power for black Americans was estimated at $1.2 trillion last year, with Hispanic buying clout at $1.3 trillion and Asian disposable income at $825 billion, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth 2015 Multicultural Economy Report. Total U.S. disposable income last year was $13.5 trillion, according to the Selig Center.

This on the heels of the 2015 LGBT Consumer Report by leading demographics firm, Nielson, which states not only do American LGBT households make 10% more shopping trips in a year than the average U.S. household, they buy more — an average of 7% more than non-LGBT consumers– at checkout. LGBT adults are also trendsetters and early adopters who spend twice more for brand names, new appliances and gadgets.

What businesses need to understand about LGBT adults is that they are loyal consumers that shop more consistently and spend a larger amount. Brand loyalty within the LGBT community is especially high. Here are some statistics from Community Marketing Inc. & Harris Interactive.)

  • 55% of LGBT consumers will choose to do business with companies that are committed to the diversity/equal treatment of the LGBT community.
  • 70% of LGBT adults stated they would pay a premium for a product from a company that supports the LGBT community.
  • 78% of LGBT adults and their friends, family and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT-friendly.
  • 84% of all Americans don’t care if a product they use targets LGBT community

These trends show that the LGBT community is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and smart companies should increase their awareness & visibility to the LGBT market and its allies.