American Consumers Newsletter
by Cheryl Russell, Editorial Director, New Strategist Press
50 Facts about the Average American
1. Hot Trends: 50 FACTS ABOUT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN
2. New Reference Tools: American Homes, American Marketplace, Who We Are: Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics
To see Cheryl Russell’s Demo Memo blog, click here.
1. Hot Trends
50 Facts about the Average American
It is painfully clear that the nation’s politicians and business leaders are not demographers. If they were, they would not be so far off the mark in their positions and policies, products and promotions. Simply put, they do not have a feel for the average American.
Like most of the public, politicians and business leaders get the bulk of their information about the population from television shows and news stories–a frightening thought since both grossly distort the characteristics of the average American. From reading business stories in the news, for example, you might think the average American actually owns stock (wrong) or runs a business rather than works for one.
There is no single source of information on the average American. To know him (or her), you have to follow the demographics. To that end, here is a sampling of just a few of the characteristics of the average American (adult) or household.
1. The average American makes $735/week.
2. The average American has $34 in his/her wallet.
3. The average American spends $69 a day.
4. The average American has a job (58%).
5. The average American thinks hard work is the way to get ahead (70%).
6. The average American thinks the government’s number-one priority should be to help keep and create jobs in America (51%).
7. The average American has employer-provided health insurance (56%).
8. The average American household spends $3,126 a year out-of-pocket on health care.
9. The average American has a landline telephone (70%).
10. The average American has a cell phone (87%), but does not own a smart phone (only 35% own one).
11. The average American says the economy/jobs will be the top issue in the 2012 election (60%).
12. The average American has less than $100,000 in savings (54%).
13. The average American does not directly own any stock. (Only 19% of households own stock directly.)
14. The average American household is $75,600 in debt (including the mortgage).
15. The average American has been to college (56%), but does not have a college degree.
16. The average American owns a desktop (59%) and/or laptop computer (52%).
17. The average American used the Internet today (59%).
18. The average American says he/she is in very good or excellent health (56%).
19. The average American is overweight (63%).
20. The average American eats at least two snacks a day (65%).
21. The average American drinks alcohol regularly (52%).
22. The average American goes to the doctor at least twice a year (65%).
23. The average American is taking at least one prescription drug.
24. The average American sometimes or often has trouble sleeping (55%).
25. The average American is currently married (51%).
26. The average American has never divorced (only 21% have ever divorced).
27. The average American lives in one of the top 50 metropolitan areas (54%).
28. The average American is a homeowner (65%).
29. The average American lives in an 1,800 square foot house.
30. The average American lives in a house built before 1975.
31. The average American believes the effects of global warming have already begun or soon will (53%).
32. The average American household is air-conditioned (87%).
33. The average American watches 2 hours and 49 minutes of television a day.
34. The average American has two or more children (57%).
35. The average American favors spanking children, if necessary (69%).
36. The average American was born in-state (52%).
37. The average American’s parents were born in the United States (78%)
38. The average American’s grandparents (all four) were born in the United States (59%).
39. The average American household owns two vehicles.
40. The average American household owns at least one pet (62%).
41. The average American pays his/her credit card bill in full each month (54%).
42. The average American household has a net worth of $96,000.
43. The average American believes in God without a doubt (59%).
44. The average American believes in evolution (56%).
45. The average American favors the death penalty (68%).
46. The average American often or always recycles (64%).
47. The average American wants the government to spend more on education (74%), health care (60%), and the environment (60%).
48. The average American is worried about being able to maintain his/her standard of living (58%).
49. The average American believes the honesty and ethical standards of Congress are low (57%).
50. The average American does not know which political party controls the House of Representatives (62%).
By Cheryl Russell, editorial director, New Strategist Publications. For more about the the average American, see the 10th edition of The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns, available in hardcopy or as a PDF download with links to Excel files of each data table. If you have questions or comments about the above editorial, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. New Reference Tools
Get To Know the Average American
Here are five all new and expanded, one-stop resources for understanding American consumers–vital, cost-effective information in these economically uncertain times. All are available as hold-in-your-hand books or pdf downloads with links to Excel spreadsheets.
Quick and easy access is the goal of the new 10th edition of The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns, your reliable alternative to the threatened Statistical Abstract. 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. Its hundreds of tables are organized into 11 chapters covering attitudes, education, health, housing, income, labor force, living arrangements, population, spending, time use, and wealth. This edition of The American Marketplace contains the latest 2010 census data by age and sex, as well as population totals for states and metropolitan areas. The book includes attitudinal data from the recently released 2010 General Social Survey. Plus, you get the latest numbers on the changing housing market. Also included are 2010 labor force statistics, and the latest income data. The wealth chapters includes newly released information on what the Great Recession did to net worth, assets, and debts. The spending chapter reveals how spending patterns are changing.
ISBN 978-1-935775-27-0 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-28-7 (paper); 642 pages; June 2011
The all-new third edition of Americans and Their Homes: Demographics of Homeownership–the first update since 2005–is already creating a buzz in the real estate industry with its up-to-date look at homeownership and the housing market through 2010. In Americans and Their Homes, which contains 50 percent more information than the previous edition, you get the very latest demographic data profiling the nation’s homeowners and renters–their age, income, household type, race, Hispanic origin and region of residence. You will also learn about their homes–heating, cooling, kitchen and laundry equipment, purchase price and value, housing costs, and much, much more. New to this edition of Americans and Their Homes is much more data on the demographics of renters and the characteristics of their homes and apartments. As it becomes more difficult to buy and sell houses, renting has become a viable alternative for millions of Americans–especially young adults. Americans and Their Homes shows you who rents and what they rent. Despite the turmoil of the Great Recession, most homeowners still have plenty of equity in their home. But a growing number are underwater. Americans and Their Homes: Demographics of Homeownership reveals these trends and gives you the facts behind them.
ISBN 978-1-935775-29-4 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-30-0 (paper); 624 pages; June 2011
· The Who We Are Series brings you, in three accessible volumes, which can be purchased singly or as a set, the facts you need about the size and characteristics of the country’s Asians, blacks, and Hispanics–the most rapidly growing segments of the consumer marketplace. In each volume, chapters examine attitudes, education, health, housing, income, labor force status, living arrangements, population, spending, time use, and wealth (in Blacks and Hispanics only).
New to the second edition of the Who We Are Series is a chapter on the attitudes of Asians, blacks, and Hispanics on issues ranging from happiness and trust in others to religious beliefs, political identification, and support for gay marriage. The population chapter includes 2010 census data showing numbers nationally and by state and metropolitan area. The spending chapter examines how Asians, blacks, and Hispanics prioritize their money, and the time use chapter shows how they prioritize their time. Also included in these volumes is the most recent information on the incomes, labor force participation, educational attainment, college enrollment, and living arrangements of Asians, blacks, and Hispanics.
ISBN 978-1-935775-37-9 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-38-6 (paper); June 2011
ISBN 978-1-935775-31-7 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-32-4 (paper); 290 pages; June 2011
ISBN 978-1-935775-33-1 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-34-8 (paper); 312 pages; June 2011
ISBN 978-1-935775-37-9 (hardcover);
ISBN 978-1-935775-38-6 (paper); 326 pages; June 2011
For your convenience, all of New Strategist’s titles are available as searchable single- and multiple-user pdfs that are linked to spreadsheets of all the data tables in each book so you can do your own analyses and create PowerPoint presentations.