Consumer Spending by Generation
As Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70 in 2016) are aging out of prime furniture buying years, Generation X households (ages 36 to 51) have picked up the reigns with robust consumer spending – despite a much smaller population size. Couple the Gen Xers with the sheer population size of the Millennials (ages 35 and below) and the future for the furniture and home furnishings industry looks promising. This is the first factoid in a series of five factoids giving a snapshot of the five adult generations using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Baby Boomers still have the highest number of households representing 34.8 percent of consumer units, compared to 27.5 percent for Generation X, and 22.9 percent for the up and coming Millennials.
In 2016, U.S. Households spent $7.42 trillion in the U.S. economy with Baby Boomers controlling 37.2 percent of all total consumer expenditures and Generation X close behind at 32.8 percent. Millennials, with lower average household incomes and smaller numbers, control only 19.4 percent of the total. Regardless, with almost 10 million more consumer households, Baby Boomers still outspend Generation X – despite growing incomes for Gen Xers.
For Furniture and Bedding expenditures, Millennials are stepping up to spend more of their income on home furnishings than any other generation, but still control only 22.4 percent of industry sales. Generation Xers are closing in on Baby Boomers as the generation that controls more industry sales, 34 percent, compared to 34.7 percent for Boomers. As Baby Boomers age out of the furniture industry, the influence of Gen Xers and Millennials will continue to grow.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016