Census Shows Americans Turn To Home
That nugget is just one of thousands inside the U.S. Census Bureau's "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007," a statistics-laden tome that might be subtitled "The Way We Are."
One of the many things we are, says Peter Francese, demographic trends analyst for Ogilvy & Mather, is less transient.
The census reports that a record low 14% of Americans moved to a new home last year versus 20% who moved two decades ago. "We're staying put longer," he said. But--and this is an important "but" for marketers--affluent Baby Boomers turning 60 are spending more money on second homes. "And you know what that means," said Francese, rhetorically: Two kitchens, two living rooms, two dining rooms.
And the newly aged 60 (there are 10,000 more every day) are harder to reach by conventional media because they're traveling between homes weekly or seasonally.
"They are spending more on travel and transportation and portable food," said Francese. Think juice packs and aseptically packaged foods, which they can ingest in a growing number of motor vehicles (a record 25% of us own more than three).
Americans drank more than 23 gallons of bottled water per person in 2004--about 10 times as much as in 1980--ate more than twice as much high-fructose corn syrup per person as in 1980, and remained the fattest people on Earth.
Well, what are Americans doing when they are in their homes? Next year, adults and teens will spend nearly five months watching television, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices, the Census shows.
Online, 97 million adults read the news in 2005, 92 million bought something, 91 million made a travel reservation, 16 million networked for business or pleasure, and 13 million created a blog.
What else are they doing? Eight million of them are working, the Census shows, as the growth of home-based businesses accelerates.
That means "we're spending more on our homes," said Francese, buying copiers, fax machines, furniture and telecommunications equipment, adding what he estimates to be $525 billion in consumer spending.
One in three of those 8 million micro-entrepreneurs is a woman.