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Factoids

Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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Factoids

Diversity in America Changes in Population by Race

Since the turn of the century, diversity in America has continued to grow – impacting the political climate, education and the economy. One common thread in the home furnishings industry is that all Americans need and purchase home furnishings, regardless of ethnicity. However, understanding the components of diversity adds perspective to our retail landscape. This is the first factoid in a series of five factoids detailing the changes in population between 2010 and 2016.

In the timeframe of six years 2010 to 2016, the U.S. resident population grew 4.7 percent – from 281.4 million to 323.1 million. All races grew in number but only White (Non Hispanics) have lost share of the population.

Whites (Non Hispanic) represent 61.1 percent of the population in 2016, down from 69.1 percent in 2000 and 63.9 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, White Hispanics already surpassed Blacks and African Americans in number by 2010 as the second largest ethnic group. In 2016 White Hispanics grew to 15.6 percent of the population compared to 13.3 percent for Blacks and African Americans. Asians, the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., grew from 3.6 percent to 5.7 percent of the population in 2016.

The U.S. added 14.4 million additional residents between 2010 and 2016. By far, White Hispanics added the most at 5.9 million followed by Asians at 3.2 million, and Black/African Americans at 2.7 million.  Of note is that while mixed-race persons represent only 2.6 percent of the U.S. population, in the six-year period they grew by an additional 1.5 million persons. Meanwhile, Whites (Non Hispanic) added just 643,174 residents to the total population in six years.

Census Bureau Race Classifications

White (Non Hispanic) encompasses Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Per the Census Bureau classification, people from the Middle East are considered White. There are an estimated 3.6 million Arab-Americans in the United States, but that doesn’t include other ethnic groups that could put the total Middle Eastern and North African population above 10 million. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey about one million people from the Middle Eastern region are first-generation immigrants to the United States.

White Hispanics are not considered a “race” by the U.S. Census Bureau but an “ethnicity”. For the purpose for this report, White Hispanics have been broken out into its own classification.

Asians include persons from the Far East, South Asia, and Asian Indian.

Other race or ethnic classifications are Black/African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Island or Other Pacific Island, and 2 or More Races.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Industry Sales: 2010 YE to 2018 Q1 Furniture & Bedding

After a strong fourth quarter, combined furniture and bedding sales took their typical cyclical dip compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, but maintained decent growth compared to the same quarter 1 of last year. Industry sales totaled $26.66 billion in for the first three months of 2018, up 4.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year, but down 2 percent from 2017 Q4.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) in the first quarter increased 4.8 percent versus the same quarter 1 in 2017 totaling $22.76 billion. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, furniture sales fell 3.6 percent.

Although furniture sales typically dip in the first quarter, bedding sales tend to increase compared to the last quarter of the previous year. Industry sales for Bedding are preliminary for the quarter as data is mixed, but initial estimates of $3.9 billion put 2018 Q1 sales up 9.0 percent over 2017 Q4. Compared to the previous same quarter 1 of last year, sales are up 2.8 percent.

The first quarter in 2017 maintained sustained quarter over quarter growth for furniture and bedding. Industry sales of $26.66 billion reflects an increase of 4.5 percent over 2017 Q1. Compared to the fourth quarter of last year sales are down 2 percent.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 4.8 percent in 2018 Q1 versus the same first quarter of 2017 with sales of $22.76 billion. This figure is down 3.6 percent over last quarter, 2017 Q4.

Bedding sales are still under review, but preliminary results show 2018 Q1 Bedding at $3.9 billion, up 2.8 percent over the same quarter 1 of 2017. Compared to last quarter, 2017 Q4, sales are up 9.0 percent.

 

State Growth: Growth of Population by State

This is the final factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the migration of the U.S. population to populous cities, creating a Big and Small America. From the 2016 Population Estimates Report done by the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 percent of residents live in just 143 counties (Big America) with the remaining 50 percent spread out over a vast area encompassing 2,999 additional counties (Small America).

State Growth

Fourteen states have no Big counties: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. By comparison, there are 17 states with a majority of residents living in big counties. Massachusetts and New Jersey have the highest percent of Big counties – 50 percent and 47.6 percent respectively. California has the most big counties at 17, followed by Florida and Texas, both with 12. In contrast, states with the highest number of small counties are Texas (223) and Georgia (141), while states with the highest mid-sized (medium) counties include Florida (21), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (19), and California (17).

Total U.S. population grew only 0.7 percent last year, with immigration contributing about 45 percent of that growth. Although population growth was slight, 84.3 percent of states experienced increases, leaving 15.7 percent with a decrease (eight states). Utah and Nevada topped the list of states with over 1 percent growth – both increasing by 2 percent. Two highly populated states, Florida and Texas also continued to grow.

Population in three big northern states, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois decreased alongside less populated states like Wyoming, Vermont, and West Virginia.

While some manufacturing jobs may return to the U.S., the divide between Big and Small America should accelerate, with metropolitan areas continuing to spread. Along with a majority of the immigrant population settling in the south and west, Americans in general will continue to gravitate to big counties that have warmer climates, job opportunities, and desirable cost of living.

Population Density of Big Counties and Counties That Attract the Most Immigrants

This is the third factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the migration of the U.S. population to populous cities, creating a Big and Small America. From the 2016 Population Estimates Report done by the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 percent of residents live in just 143 counties (Big America) with the remaining 50 percent spread out over a vast area encompassing 2,999 additional counties (Small America).

Population Density

The staggering population density in the Northeast is a current key geographic characteristic in the U.S., notably in the New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ MSA five key counties. With the exception of San Francisco County, CA, the Northeast contains the most congestion of people with Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA’s all containing over 11,000 people per square mile.

Meanwhile, the vast areas of California, Nevada and Arizona make the density in their counties less than .05 percent as dense as the Northeast. For example, New York County (New York City) has almost 72,000 people per square mile living in the county, compared to 2,500 in Los Angeles County, the largest county in population in the United States.

Immigration to Big Counties

Slightly less than one million people immigrated to the U.S. last year, down 3.6 percent from 2015. They represented about 45 percent of U.S. population growth. As shown in Table I, big counties were the major recipients with 74.1 percent of immigrants residing in highly populated areas.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 Population Estimates, Population Density = the number of persons per square mile in the county

Counties That Increased or Decreased in Population 2016


This is the second factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the migration of the U.S. population to populous cities, creating a Big and Small America. From the 2016 Population Estimates Report done by the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 percent of residents live in just 143 counties (Big America) with the remaining 50 percent spread out over a vast area encompassing 2,999 additional counties (Small America).

The rate of growth contrasts Big America versus Small America. The U.S. population increased by over 2.2 million between 2015 and 2016, yet almost half (49.0%) of the U.S. counties lost population.  For small counties, 54.1 percent lost residents, while only 17.5 percent of big counties diminished.

For Small counties, 450 lost over 1 percent of their population between 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, only seven Big and Medium sized counties declined 1 percent or more. The big county on the list, Baltimore County, MD, lost 1.08 percent of its residents from 2015 to 2016. Ector County, TX home of the city Odessa, TX topped of the Medium counties – decreasing population by 1.39 percent.

Counties in Texas lead the way in largest percent of population growth with the top two increasing counties located within the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area – Williamson County (5.09 percent) and Hays County (4.19 percent). Comal County, TX added 4.40 percent more residents to the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX market. Southern states rounded out the list of counties gaining over 4 percent of population in 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 Population Estimates

Big and Small America : U.S. Most Populous Counties 2016

Big and Small America is a term coined by the Census Bureau to reflect the present geographical spread of the American population. Over 50 percent of residents live in just 143 counties (Big America) with the remaining 50 percent spread out over a vast area encompassing 2,999 additional counties (Small America). This is the first factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the migration of residents to populous cities.

This migration is in part due to more workers seeking jobs in large cities as manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. Along with greater job opportunities, the lure of warmer climates has drawn Americans to the southern and western states. The most growth has been seen in regional hub areas and coastal areas with ports. Southern and Western areas along with larger cities have also been impacted by Immigration.

50 percent of the population lives in 4.6 percent of counties – roughly 161.7 million residents. These Big American counties average, 485,846 in population. Medium sized counties average 211,321 persons and house 10.7 percent of the nation. Very small U.S. counties totaling 2,664 represent 84.8 percent of counties and the remaining 25 percent of the population. Small counties average only 20,402 in population.

Also surprising is that over 10 percent of the population resides in just seven counties, three of which are in California. By far, Los Angeles County is the nation’s most populous with over 10 million residents in 2016. With just half the size (5.2 million), Cook County, IL has the second highest population, followed by Harris County, TX, Maricopa County, AZ, San Diego County, CA, Orange County, CA, and Miami-Dade, FL.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 Population Estimates

Consumer Spending by Generation Share of Spending on Key Consumer Items by Generation

Age and Generation greatly affect what consumer items people buy and the share of a consumer’s total expenditures allotted for these items. This is the final factoid in a series of five factoids giving a snapshot of the five adult generations using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. This factoid illustrates a few major consumer items bought by each generation and which generation spends a higher percentage of their expenditures on those items. *See Factoid 1 for generation birth years and ages

As Housing is a major expenditure for all consumers, Millennials are spending a higher percentage (22 percent) of their income on rent or mortgage payments. For rent alone, 37.6 percent of total spending comes from Millennials. For homeowners, Generation X spends the highest share of their expenditures on mortgage interest (6.6 percent). As they age, many Baby Boomers are paying off mortgages and simultaneously becoming by far the largest consumers of home maintenance, repairs and insurance. Last year 45 percent of these consumer expenditures were by Baby Boomers.

Millennials spend more of their income eating out than any other generation but due to population size, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers control almost 70 percent of the total dollars spent. In family-oriented Generation X, households on average spend far more than any other generation on entertainment – roughly 38 percent of total entertainment expenditures.

Cell phones, vehicles, and education are bigger ticket items for Millennials, while Gen Xers and families spend more of their incomes on apparel and shoes. Not surprisingly, Baby Boomers control much of the healthcare spending, averaging 9 percent of their consumer spending.

Perhaps the most important statistics for the furniture industry is that while Millennials currently control 22.4 percent of furniture industry sales, they also spend a higher percentage (0.9 percent) of income on furniture than any other generation. This should bode well for the industry as Millennials continue to flood into household formations. Couple this with the growing wealth of Gen Xers and the furniture industry has the demographic profile for growth in the future.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016

Consumer Spending by Generation Household Expenditures and Furniture Spending

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 fourth factoid in a series of five factoids giving a snapshot of the five adult generations using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. Average Household Expenditures and furniture spending is the focus of this factoid.  *See Factoid 1 for generation birth years and ages

Household Expenditures

Although Baby Boomers account for a greater percentage of consumer spending, Generation X consumers spent more per household with an annual average expenditure of $68,532 in comparison to the $61,204 of Baby Boomers.

Furniture Spending

Staying in line with overall expenditures, Generation X also spent more money per household on Furniture Expenditures in 2016. At an average annual furniture expenditure of $920, Generation X spends on average 24 percent more than Baby Boomers and 26 percent more than Millennials. (Note: The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) projects total furniture industry expenditures at a lower rate than the Personal Consumer Expenditures (PCE) survey conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is tied to the GDP. Mapping the CEX to the PCE reflects a more accurate picture of expenditures shown in the second chart.)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016
* Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016 mapped to Personal Consumer Expenditures Survey and Impact Consulting Services’ Furniture Core industry model

Consumer Spending by Generation

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 third factoid in a series of five factoids giving a snapshot of the five adult generations using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. We highlight Housing Tenure, Race, and Education of consumers by generation.  *See Factoid 1 for generation birth years and ages

Housing Tenure

As would be expected, only 33 percent of Millennial households are homeowners, but that number is increasing daily. Generation X has not quite embraced homeownership like their parents, with 62 percent owning their own residence compared to 76 percent of Baby Boomers.

Race of Consumer

Ethnic diversity continues to grow the younger the generation. For heads of households, Hispanics or Latinos have become the second largest segment after Whites, Asian, and all other races – increasing from 9 percent of Baby Boomers to 18 percent of Generation X and Millennials in 2016.

Education of Consumer

The data continues to confirm that Millennials are the most educated generation. In 2016, 71 percent of Millennials were college educated versus 69 percent of Gen Xers and 63 percent of Baby Boomers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016

Consumer Spending by Generation, Household Income, Age of Consumers and Size of Household

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

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