US Affluents 2018: Examining the Foundations of Their Consumer Behavior - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

US Affluents 2018: Examining the Foundations of Their Consumer Behavior

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: February 15, 2018

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Most of the affluent population in the US is upper-middle class, not filthy rich. Many are more distant financially from “the 1%” than they are from non-affluents. They typically bring a middle-class sensibility to how they see themselves and spend their money.

  • Households with annual income of $125,000-plus account for more than one-fifth of total US households. There has been growth in the ethnic diversity of affluents, though non-Hispanic whites remain a large majority.
  • Dual-income households are the norm among affluents, with a pair of salaries often pushing a married couple into affluent status. Still, men tend to be the primary earners.
  • A high income does not banish financial anxieties. In one survey, slightly less than half of respondents in the $250,000-plus bracket said they feel “financially secure.”
  • Households in the $200,000-plus bracket annually spend nearly twice as much as those in the $100,000 to $149,999 class—$158,896 vs. $84,154 in 2016. Affluent spending is far above average in discretionary categories like entertainment. But affluents also spend more on average for used vehicles than total households do.
  • Affluents are bargain hunters. Even in the $250,000-plus bracket, nearly half wait until things go on sale before buying. Usage of coupons is widespread, as is purchasing of private-label goods.
  • Affluents are hardly gluttons for luxury goods. Many seldom purchase them. For that matter, many feel they cannot routinely afford to do so.

"Bargain hunting is standard procedure for many US affluents, and not just for those at the lower rungs of affluence."

Table of Contents

Not the Stereotypical Fat Cat

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

Who They Are, What They’ve Got

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

How Affluents See Themselves (and Their Finances)

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

What Their Money Buys

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

16 charts are included in the full report:

US Affluents 2018: Examining the Foundations of Their Consumer Behavior

Attitudes Toward Sales Among US Affluent vs. Total Consumers, by Income, Aug 2017 (% of affluents and % of total population)

Who They Are, What They’ve Got

Demographic Profile of US Affluents, June 2017 (% of total)

Median Net Worth of US Households, by Percentile of Usual Income, 2016 (thousands)

Dual-Income Households and Affluence

Average Number of Earners* in US Affluent vs. Total Households, by Income, 2016

Relationship Status Among US Internet Users, by Income, Aug 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

How Affluents See Themselves (and Their Finances)

US Internet Users Who Frequently Worry About Their Financial Situation, by Income, May 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Expected Change in Amount Paid Under the New Tax Plan According to US Internet Users, by Income, Jan 2018 (% of respondents in each group)

US Affluent vs. Total Consumers Who Are Very Happy with Their Life as It Is, by Income, Aug 2017 (% of affluents and % of total population)

What Their Money Buys

Select Expenditures of US Affluent vs. Total Households, by Income, 2016

Household Spending Share Among US Affluent Internet Users, by Product/Service Category, June 2017 (% of total)

Affluents as Economizers

Attitudes Toward Sales Among US Affluent vs. Total Consumers, by Income, Aug 2017 (% of affluents and % of total population)

Frequency with Which US Internet Users Search for Coupons, by Channel and Income, Oct 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

US Internet Users' Behaviors/Attitudes Toward Purchasing Private-Label Products, by Income, Sep 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Shopping-Related Smartphone Activities Conducted by US Affluent Smartphone Users, June 2017 (% of respondents)

Attitudes Toward Digital Shopping Among US Affluent vs. Total Consumers, by Income, Aug 2017 (% of affluents and % of total population)

Luxury’s Limited Appeal

Attributes that Define a Luxury Item According to US Millennial Female Internet Users, by Income, July 2017 (% of respondents in each group)