Consumer Spending by Generation, Household Income, Age of Consumers and Size of Household
2018 by Jane Chero in General
As Baby Boomers are aging out of prime furniture buying years, Generation X households 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 and the future for the furniture and home furnishings industry looks promising. This is the second factoid in a series of five factoids giving a snapshot of the five adult generations using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. *See Factoid 1 for generation birth years and ages
Generation X had an average household income (before taxes) of $95,168 in 2016, the highest mean household income of any generation in history. Gen Xers households earning on average are 19 percent higher than Baby Boomer households and 45 percent more than Millennials. Of importance is that Generation X has the highest number of earners per households, 1.7 earners, compared to Millennials, 1.5 earners. As Millennials age and grow in the workforce, rising incomes paired with numbers of consumers will increase their 19.4 percent share of consumer spending dramatically.
With the highest incomes and an average age of 43.3, Generation Xers are prime consumers. At an average age of 60, many Baby Boomers have retired, while a majority of Millennials have entered the workforce are gaining more purchasing power at an average age of 28. In fact Millennials have now surpassed Gen Xers in the number of individuals in the U.S. workforce.
Generation X represents the bulk of families with children. They have an average of 3.2 total people per household and 1.2 children under 18. Millennials, however, are starting to have children at a higher pace averaging 0.9 kids under 18 per household – bumping up the average size of a Millennial household to 2.6. Baby Boomers still have an average of 2.1 persons per households, most likely reflecting leftover Millennials still at home for younger Boomers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016