THE BLOG
07/26/2016 06:39 pm ET Updated Jul 27, 2017

LGBT Buying Power Closer To One Trillion Dollars

According to a recent study by Witeck Communications, disposable personal income (DPI) is on the rise among all Americans including LGBT Americans. The money LGBT Americans can spend collectively after paying taxes rose 4 percent to $917 billion in 2015. The estimate is based on a method developed over a decade ago in part by LGBT market expert, Bob Witeck, whose research reveals that 6-7 percent of the adult U.S. population self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender. The approach for estimating disposable income (buying power) among LGBT Americans follows the steps taken by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia to calculate their projections for other groups.

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."

"LGBT buying power is an economic marker that helps benchmark America's diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities," says Justin Nelson who is the co-founder and president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). "At NGLCC, we have more than 150 corporate partners that understand, not only the value of the LGBT dollar, but the economics of inclusiveness 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."

Buying power is important for businesses and marketers when considering the strength and the potential impact of reaching LGBT consumers through cause marketing, branding campaigns, public affairs strategies and other corporate partnerships with the leaders in the LGBT community.