American Consumers Newsletter

by Cheryl Russell, Editorial Director, New Strategist Press
April 2016

Big-City Counties Growing Fastest (Still)

IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Hot Trends: COUNTY POPULATION TRENDS: BIG-CITY COUNTIES STILL GROWING THE FASTEST; RETIREMENT CONFIDENCE; GUN OWNERSHIP; HOUSEHOLD SPENDING ON STREAMED AND DOWNLOADED VIDEO, and more
2. New Tools:

THE AMERICAN MARKETPLACE, 13th edition

AMERICAN INCOMES, 11th edition
WHO WE ARE: ASIANS, 3rd ed.
WHO WE ARE: BLACKS, 3rd ed.
WHO WE ARE: HISPANICS, 3rd ed.

To see Cheryl Russell’s Demo Memo blog, click here.

1. Hot Trends

Big-City Counties Growing Fastest (Still)
The nation’s most urban counties continue to grow faster than any other county type according to the Census Bureau’s 2015 county population estimates. A Demo Memo analysis of 2010-to-2015 county population trends along the Rural-Urban Continuum documents strong metro growth (the bigger, the better) and continuing rural decline.
The Rural-Urban Continuum (RUC) is the federal government’s way of classifying counties by their degree of urbanity. The continuum is a scale ranging from 1 (the most urban counties, in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more) to 9 (the most rural counties, lacking any settlements of 2,500 or more people and not adjacent to a metropolitan area). If you sort the nation’s 3,000-plus counties by their rank on the continuum, then measure population change between 2010 and 2015 for each rank, this is the result…
County population change 2010-15 by RUC rank
1: 5.3% in metros with 1 million+ population
2: 3.9% in metros of 250,000 to 1 million population
3: 2.6% in metros with less than 250,000 population
4: 0.1% nonmetro, urban pop 20,000+ next to metro
5: 1.7% nonmetro, urban pop 20,000+ not next to metro
6: -0.8% nonmetro, urban pop 2,500-19,999 next to metro
7: -0.5% nonmetro, urban pop 2,500-19,999 not next to metro
8: -1.1% nonmetro, urban pop <2,500 next to metro
9: -1.2% nonmetro, urban pop <2,500 not next to metro
The most urban counties (a 1 on the scale) grew the fastest between 2010 and 2015. The most rural counties (8 and 9 on the scale) experienced the biggest declines. A look at annual rates of population change by Rural-Urban Continuum shows declines in every year between 2010 and 2015 for counties ranking 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the continuum. Counties with a rank of 1 grew by more than 1 percent in every year.
Big-City Counties Continue to Attract Domestic and International Migrants
The nation’s most urban counties grew by a substantial 5.3 percent between 2010 and 2015, faster than any other type, according to a Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2015 county population estimates by Rural-Urban Continuum. Counties in smaller metros grew at a slower rate, and those in rural areas lost population. Every component of population change is driving the growth of the most urban counties…
Natural increase is greater in big-city counties. Between 2010 and 2015, the rate of natural increase (defined as births minus deaths) was 2.8 percent in counties ranking 1 on the Rural-Urban Continuum (in metro areas with populations of 1 million or more). This was a higher rate of natural increase than any other type of county on the continuum. Counties ranking an 8 or 9 (the most rural) had a negative rate of natural increase, with deaths outnumbering births.
International migration is greater in big-city counties. Between 2010 and 2015, the rate of net international migration was 2.3 percent in counties ranking 1 on the Rural-Urban Continuum. International migration was positive in every type of county, but the rate was lower in less urban counties and was lowest (0.2 percent) in counties ranking 8 or 9.
Domestic migration is greater in big-city counties. Between 2010 and 2015, the rate of net domestic migration was positive only for the most urban counties, ranking 1 or 2 on the Rural-Urban Continuum. Less urban and rural counties lost more domestic migrants than they gained.
Gun Ownership: Urban vs. Rural
Only 32 percent of the nation’s adults live in a household with guns, according to a 2014 General Social Survey report, down from 49 percent in 1973. The percentage of adults who live in a household with guns is much higher in rural areas…
Percent of adults with a firearm in their household
14.8% in the central cities of the 12 largest metros
19.2% in the suburbs of the 12 largest metros
19.4% in the central cities of the 13th to 100th largest metros
29.0% in the suburbs of the 13th to 100th largest metros
43.7% in other urban areas
55.9% in rural counties
Retirement Confidence in 2016
Nearly two out of three workers say they are somewhat (42 percent) or very (21 percent) confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, according to the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey. This is up from the 51 percent who were somewhat (38 percent) or very (13 percent) confident in 2013, the year confidence hit bottom. Only 35 percent of workers in 2016 are “not too” or “not at all” confident, down from 49 percent who felt that way in 2013.
Perhaps behind the growing confidence is a change in retirement plans. Seventeen percent of workers in 2016 said they had adjusted their expected age of retirement in the past year, with most adjusting it upwards. Over the past 25 years, the percentage of workers who expect to retire at age 66 or older has more than tripled…
Percentage of workers who expect to retire at age 66 or older
2016: 37%
2011: 36%
2006: 25%
2001: 16%
1991: 11%
Attitudes: Marriage and Childbearing
Cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbearing, already commonplace in the United States, may become the norm in the years ahead if the attitudes of the nation’s younger adults are any indicator. According to the 2011-13 National Survey of Family Growth, most adults under age 45 think cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbearing are okay. Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statements…
A young couple should not live together unless married
Men who disagreed: 75%
Women who disagreed: 71%
It’s okay to have and raise children when the parents are living together but not married
Men who agreed: 76%
Women who agreed: 75%
It’s okay for an unmarried female to have and raise a child
Men who agreed: 69%
Women who agreed: 78%
Trends in Household Spending on
Streamed and Downloaded Video
Explosive growth is the only way to describe the trend in average household spending on streamed and downloaded video, according to a Demo Memo analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Average annual household spending on streamed and downloaded video grew 26-fold between 2005 and 2014, after adjusting for inflation–from $0.68 to $17.80.
In 2005–the first year in which streamed and downloaded video appeared on the Consumer Expenditure Survey–only 0.4 percent of households bought streamed and downloaded video during an average quarter. By 2010, the figure had climbed to 1.4 percent. By 2014, it had soared to 13.1 percent. Streamed and downloaded video ranked a lowly 31st in popularity among entertainment products and services in 2010, based on the percentage of households buying the item during an average quarter. In 2014, it ranked 6th.
To see where this trend is going, compare spending on streamed and downloaded video to spending on cable and satellite television service–which streaming and downloading are in the process of replacing. During an average quarter of 2014, 70 percent of households spent on cable or satellite television service, devoting an annual average of $723 to the service. Explosive growth in household spending on streamed and downloaded video is likely to continue.
Percentage of households spending on streamed and downloaded video during an average quarter (and average annual household spending, in 2014 dollars)
2014: 13.1% ($17.80)
2010:  1.4% ($2.11)
2005:  0.4% ($0.68)
Younger Adults Are Streaming Video, Dropping Cable
Do you remember when cell phones were a blip on the radar screen and landline phones reigned supreme? Just 21 percent of households reported spending on cell phone service during an average quarter of 2000, and 94 percent spent on landlines. It took until 2010 before the cell phone market surpassed the landline market. In 2014, 69 percent of households spent on cell phone service during an average quarter and a smaller 47 percent spent on landline. The transformation from landline to cell occurred incrementally, with households headed by younger adults adopting cell phones first and older householders playing catch-up.
It’s happening again. This time, television is being transformed as streamed and downloaded video replaces cable and satellite television service. Between 2010 and 2014, average annual household spending on streamed and downloaded video grew faster than spending on any other entertainment product or service–rising from $2.11 to $17.80, after adjusting for inflation. Behind the growth in spending is the expansion of the customer base: the percentage of households purchasing streamed and downloaded video during an average quarter grew from just 1.4 percent in 2010 to 13.1 percent in 2014, according to a Demo Memo analysis (see above) of Consumer Expenditure Survey data.
Following the pattern of cell phone adoption, streaming and downloading video is most common among householders under age 45. These are also the age groups with the biggest percentage-point  declines in spending on cable and satellite television service. Cable and satellite customers still far outnumber streaming and downloading customers even in the younger age groups, but that’s likely to change…
Percent of households purchasing streamed and downloaded video (and cable/satellite television service) during average quarter of 2014
Under age 25: 16.5% (39.1%)
Aged 25 to 34: 19.1% (58.9%)
Aged 35 to 44: 18.3% (70.0%)
Aged 45 to 54: 15.3% (73.4%)
Aged 55 to 64: 9.5% (75.7%)
Aged 65-plus: 5.0% (78.4%)
Earnings of Husbands and Wives
Among the nation’s 62 million married couples, 55 percent of husbands earn substantially more than their wives, according to Census Bureau data. In another 20 percent of couples, wives earn substantially more than their husbands. Earnings are about equal (a difference of less than $5,000) for 25 percent…
Earnings difference between husbands and wives
Husband earns at least $50,000 more than wife: 23%
Husband earns $5,000 to $49,999 more than wife: 32%
Husband’s and wife’s earnings differ by less than $5,000: 25%
Wife earns $5,000 to $49,999 more than husband: 15%
Wife earns at least $50,000 more than husband: 5%
Who Are the Remaining Uninsured?
Among Americans under age 65, nearly 33 million still lacked health insurance in 2015 despite the Affordable Care Act. Greater outreach efforts could cover 12 million of the uninsured, says the Urban Institute–those who are eligible for Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and those whose incomes are low enough to qualify for generous tax credits when they purchase Marketplace plans. It will be much harder to reach the remaining 21 million uninsured because they are ineligible (undocumented immigrants), live in states that did not expand Medicaid, or are unwilling to pay the cost of coverage.
Greater outreach efforts could reach these uninsured…
  • 9,132,000 eligible for Medicaid or CHIP
  • 3,224,000 eligible for generous tax credits because their income is below 200% of poverty level
It will be difficult or impossible to reach these uninsured…
  • 5,233,000 undocumented immigrants (not eligible)
  • 4,109,000 whose incomes are above subsidy threshold
  • 3,799,000 in states that did not expand Medicaid/CHIP
  • 3,740,000 whose employers offer health insurance plan
  • 3,708,000 eligible only for minimal tax credits because their income is above 200% of poverty level
Place of Death Is Changing
The percentage of deaths that occur in a hospital declined between 2000 and 2014–falling from 50 to 37 percent, reports the CDC. The percentage of deaths that occur at home grew from 23 to 29 percent during those years…
Place of death in 2014 (and 2000)
37% in a hospital (50%)
29% at home (23%)
20% in a nursing home (22%)
7% in a hospice facility (no data in 2000)
6% in other/unknown place (5%)
Partner Status at Age 29
Young adults have been postponing marriage. The latest results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 are more evidence of this trend. The NLSY 1997 is tracking a nationally representative sample of men and women born from 1980 through 1984 and first interviewed in 1997. The latest results, which examine educational attainment, labor force experience, and partner status, are from the 16th interview of the sample and took place in 2013-14. On their 29th birthday, fewer than half of young adults were married, one in five was cohabiting, and among men the plurality was single…
Marital status of men on 29th birthday
Single: 44%
Cohabiting: 20%
Married: 36%
Marital status of women on 29th birthday
Single: 35%
Cohabiting: 20%
Married: 45%
College Graduates by Generation
Among Americans aged 25 or older, the percentage of men and women with a bachelor’s degree is about equal, according to the Census Bureau: 33 percent of women and 32 percent of men have a bachelor’s degree. Differences emerge by generation. Millennial and Gen X women are more likely than their male counterparts to have a bachelor’s degree. Boomer men and women are about equally likely to have graduated from college. Among older Americans, men are much more likely than women to have a college degree.
Percentage of people aged 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree
Millennials: 33% of men and 39% of women
Generation X: 33% of men and 37% of women
Baby Boomers: 32% of men and 31% of women
Older Americans: 30% of men and 20% of women
Note: Millennials are aged 25 to 38; Gen Xers are 39 to 50; Boomers are 51 to 69; Older Americans are 70 or older.
Projections of College Enrollment to 2023
The number of students in the nation’s colleges, including both two-year and four-year institutions, is projected to rise from 20.4 million in the fall of 2015 to 22.6 million in the fall of 2023, according to the National Center for Education Statistics–an increase of 2.2 million. Black and Hispanic students will account for 63 percent of the increase. Here are the projections by race and Hispanic origin…
Projections of college enrollment 2015 to 2023 (and % change)
Total: +2.2 million to 22,642,000 (10.9%)
Asians: +130,000 to 1,391,000 (10.3%)
Blacks: +632,000 to 3,705,000 (20.5%)
Hispanics: +777,000 to 3,981,000 (24.3%)
Non-Hispanic Whites: +632,000 to 12,813,000 (5.2%)
By 2023, non-Hispanic Whites will account for 57 percent of college enrollment, down from 60 percent in 2015. Hispanics will be 18 percent of enrollment, Blacks 16 percent, and Asians 6 percent. The multiracial, American Indians, and Alaska Natives will account for the remainder of the student population.
These are a sampling of posts published in the past few weeks in Cheryl Russell’s Demo Memo blog. Please send questions or comments to demographics@newstrategist.com.

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Among men who work full-time, median income was $51,456 in 2014. Here is the median income of men who work full-time by race and Hispanic origin…

Asians: $59,766
Blacks: $41,167
Hispanics: $35,114
Non-Hispanic Whites: $58,712

2. MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS

Here are all new and expanded one-stop resources for understanding American consumers–vital, cost effective information. Get the answers you need for business success in today’s competitive economy!
Quick and easy access is the goal of the new 13th edition of The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns. Designed for convenience, The American Marketplace draws on scores of government sources to give you a population profile of the United States in one handy volume. The American Marketplace reveals the latest demographic trends and tells the American story. It examines changing lifestyles in rich detail, from growing racial and ethnic diversity to declining homeownership, from disappearing nuclear families to shifting patterns of household spending, from another baby bust to new attitudes toward gay marriage. The American Marketplace is a reference tool that will help you cut through the clutter and track the trends.
You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages at New Strategist.com, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF linked to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.
Hardcover: $138.00 (978-1-937737-21-4) 655 pages

Paper: $103.95 (978-1-937737-22-1)

PDF with Excel (single-user): 103.95 (978-1-937737-23-8)
This new edition of American Incomes: Demographics of Who Has Money is your map to the changing consumer landscape, exploring and explaining the economic status of Americans in the aftermath of the Great Recession. It looks at household income trends through 2014 by age, household type, race and Hispanic origin, education, region, and work status; examines trends in the incomes of men and women by a variety of demographic characteristics; and provides data on the wealth of American households. The poverty population is also a focus of American Incomes.
You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages at NewStrategist.com, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF linked to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.
Hardcover: $138.00 (978-1-937737-24-5) 456 pages
Paper: $103.95 (978-1-937737-25-2)
PDF with Excel (single user): $103.95 (978-1-937737-26-9)
The Who We Are Series provides a comprehensive look at the characteristics of America’s three major minorities: Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. In addition to detailed estimates of their numbers nationally and by state and metropolitan area, the three volumes in the Who We Are Series include the latest socioeconomic data on each population. Detailed household spending data, the latest on household wealth, and findings from the American Time Use Survey are also presented.

You can see each book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages at NewStrategist.com, where you can also download these unique reference tools as PDFs linked to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

Hardcover: $138.00 (978-1-937737-27-6) 288 pages
Paper: $103.95 (978-1-937737-28-3)

PDF with Excel (single user): $103.95 (978-1-937737-29-0)

Hardcover: $138.00 (978-1-937737-30-6) 298 pages
Paper: $103.95 (978-1-937737-31-3)

PDF with Excel (single user): $103.95 (978-1-937737-32-0)

Hardcover: $138.00 (978-1-937737-33-7) 314 pages
Paper: $103.95 (978-1-937737-34-4)

PDF with Excel (single user): $103.95 (978-1-937737-36-8)


For your convenience, all of New Strategist’s titles are available as searchable single- and multiple-user PDFs linked to spreadsheets of each data table so you can do your own analyses and create PowerPoint presentations.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Percentage of married couples with preschoolers in which both mother and father are employed: 55%

Source: American Marketplace, 13th ed.