On This Page:
- Purchasing Power of Women
- The Auto Category
- The Technology and Electronic Category
- Women and Sports
- Global Spending
- Education and Career
- Independent Women
- Social Media & Online
Purchasing Power of Women
- Women in the U.S. report controlling or influencing 73% of all household spending. (New York: HarperBusiness 2009)60% of apparel, (“In Celebration of Shopping,” Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor, 2012)
- 60% of apparel, (“In Celebration of Shopping,” Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor, 2012)
- 52% of all new vehicle purchases, including trucks, 80% influenced, (Road and Travel, 2009)
- 45% of consumer electronic purchases, 61% influenced, (Consumer Electronics Association, 2008)
- 80% of family healthcare decisions, (US Dept. of Labor, General Facts on Women and Job-Based Health, 2008)70% of travel decisions, (Forbes Life Executive Woman)
- 58% of e-commerce dollars, (“Women on the Web: How Women Are Shaping the Internet,” Comscore, 2010)
- 90% participate in decisions of insurance, investment, retirement, (Prudential Financial “Study on Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women”, 2009)
- 91% influence home purchase, 20% home purchases are single women, (National Association of Realtors and NAHB)
- 75% identify themselves as the primary shoppers for their households, (“Buying Power,” Catalyst, 2013)
- $20 trillion in U.S. spending, (The Coca-Cola Company, Muhtar Kent, 200)
Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, including everything from autos to health care:
- 91% of New Homes
- 66% PCs
- 92% Vacations
- 80% Healthcare
- 65% New Cars
- 89% Bank Accounts
- 93% Food
- 93% OTC Pharmaceuticals
The Auto Category
- Women buy more than half of the new cars in the U.S., AND influence up to 80% of all car purchases.
- Women also request 65% of the service work done at dealerships.
- Women spend over $200 billion on new cars & mechanical servicing of vehicles each year.
- 45% of all light trucks and SUVs are purchased by women, (Women-Drivers.com, 2010)
- Women now own 12.3% of all motorcycles in the country, a 28% increase in 5 years, (MSN Autos, 2009)
- Women more than doubled their presence in the motorcycle industry since 1998, (Motorcycle Industry Council, 2012)
- Women continue having poor experiences when trying to buy a car.
- 3/4 of women surveyed say they feel misunderstood by car marketers, (Source: Forbes, 2010)
- 105.7 million women have a driver’s license, compared with 104.3 million men,(University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute Study)
The Technology and Electronic Category
- In 61% of all consumer electronic purchases, a woman either initiated the purchase or was involved in the purchase process. (“Tip for Valentine’s Day: Women Want Electronics,” Consumer Electronics Association, Laura Hubbard, 2012)
- 45% of all video game players are women
- Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the video game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%). (“Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry,” Entertainment Software Association, 2012)
- U.S. moms spend an average of $822 on gadgetry each year and account for more than half of their household’s total consumer-electronics spending. (Consumer Electronics Association, Influence CE Purchases, 2010)
Women and Sports
- More women (50.4 million) tuned into the Super Bowl than watched the Oscars (24.5 million), Grammys (23.8 million), and Emmys (8 million). (Nielsen, 2012)
- 44% of women say they prefer ads during the Super Bowl to any other aspect of the game, (Lab42 Research Study, 2013)
- Of the NFL’s 185 million fans, 45% are women. Half of all NFL fans classify themselves as “avid,” and one-third of those fans are women. (Businessweek, 2013)
- Sales of women’s NFL apparel have tripled in the last four years. (Businessweek, 2013)
- Women drive 70-80% of all consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence, (Why She Buys, Bridget Brennan, 2011)
- Women control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending. (Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, October 2010)
Education and Career
- 22% of husbands have wives whose income tops theirs. (Pew Research Center)
- Two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities, compared with 59% of young men. (Pew Research Center)
- Women made up 46.7% of the labor force in 2010. (Pew Research Center)
- Women have made substantial strides in recent decades and now surpass men in both college enrollment and completion. Some 44% of women ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college or graduate programs as of October 2010, compared with just 38% of men in the same age group. In addition, 36% of women ages 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree, compared with only 28% of men in the same age group—a record-high divergence. (Pew Research Center)
- Women account for approximately 58 percent of students in two-and four-year colleges in the US. (Silverstein and Sayre, 2009)
- The proportion of women graduate students is six out of 10. (Council of Graduate Schools, 2010)
- Overall, 140 women graduated in 2013 with a college degree at some level for every 100 men, (American Enterprises Institute, Carpe Diem, Mark J. Perry, 2013)
- In 2010, women who were full-time or salaried workers had median weekly earnings of $669, compared with $824 for their male counterparts. (Pew Research Center)
- In the five year period between 2006 and 2011, the number of women in the U.S. earning a greater share of income than their husbands rose from 13% to 16%. (GFK Roper Reports, 2012)
- 72% of women earn 50% to 100% of the family household income, (iVillage ‘Take Charge of Your Career Week’ Survey, 2013)
- Among all workers ages 16 to 34, women’s earnings are more than 90% of men’s; this ratio drops for women ages 35 to 64, who earn 80% or less of what men earn across the board. (Pew Research Center)
- Earnings of full-time female workers have risen by 31% since 1979, compared to a 2% rise in male earnings. (“Women In America,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, 2011)
- The average wages of a 20-29 year-old woman are higher than same age men in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, and Minneapolis. In New York, young women earn 17% more than young men and 20% more in Dallas. (“Below the Topline Women’s Growing Economic Power,” Doug Anderson, 2009)
- A record of 40% of all households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. (“Breadwinner Moms,” Pew Research Center, 2013)
- In 2012 of the record 1,226 people in the world worth $1 billion or more, 104 (85%) are women. That’s a record number of women making the list. Ten years ago, in 2002, only 36 women were Forbes billionaires. (“The World’s Richest Women, Forbes, Erin Carlyle, 2012)
Female Business Owners
- In 2012, Sara Blakely, the creator of the shapewear line Spanx, became the newest self-made female billionaire to make the Forbes Billionaires List. (Forbes, Clare O-Connor, 2013)
- 10.1 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008.
- Three quarters of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women (51% or more), for a total of 7.2 million firms, employing 7.3 million people, and generating $1.1 trillion in sales.
- Women-owned firms (50% or more) account for 40% of all privately held firms.
- One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.
(“Buying Power,” Catalyst, 2013)
- This year, there were 98 female CEOs of 3,049 publicly traded companies analyzed by research company GMI. That represents 3.2% of the total company CEOs and is just slightly above the 3.1% from last year and 2.9% from 2009.
- Studies show a significantly higher percentage of female senior executives in staff positions (72%) than in line management positions (27%) – while the proportion of men in line versus staff roles is essentially equal (49.5% compared to 50.5%). (Catalyst, 2007)
- In 2011, women accounted for 51% of all persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations. (“Women In the Labor Force: A Databook,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012)
- In 2013, women accounted for 31% of lawyers, 34% of physicians and surgeons, and 51.5% of all management, professional, and related occupations. (“Buying Power,” Catalyst, 2013)
- Women comprise 46.3% of the nation’s top wealth holders – assets $675,000 or more
Increasing Purchasing Power
- Women have always made the majority of household spending decisions, but they will have even more purchasing power as they contribute more money to their households. (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, December 2010)
The New Life Plan – Gen Y
- 96% list “being independent” as their single most important life goal
- 87% define success as being able to shape their own future
- 68% say becoming a mom is on their priority list
- 50% say getting married is a priority
- 43% ascribe much importance to getting rich
(Levi’s survey of 1,000 Millennials, 2010)
In the Penn Mutual 2nd Annual Worth Survey for Women, 71% of respondents characterized themselves as Independent Women:
- Women who characterize themselves as independent are more likely to be on track with respect to paying off debt (33% vs. 19% of non-independent women), building up their savings (26% vs. 18% respectively), and guaranteeing they will maintain or enhance their lifestyle during retirement (26% vs. 17%).
- Independent women are significantly more likely than those who do not view themselves as independent to say they are on or ahead of target for being able to save for future travel (29% vs. 18%), and save for a home remodel (20% vs. 10%).
Marriage and Motherhood
- 18-29-year-olds value parenthood far more than marriage with 52% saying being a good parent is one of the most important things in life versus just 30% feeling the same about a successful marriage
- 51% of children being born to Millennials are to single Moms
- Just 22% of Millennials are married
Moms in the Workforce
- 71.3% of mothers with children under 18 years of age participate in the workforce, (“Women in the Labor Force,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)
Modern Moms vs. the General Population
- The U.S. Census estimates that there are 82.5 million mothers of all ages in the U.S, from Baby Boomer “soccer moms” to the Gen X and Echo Boom “iMom.” (eMarketer, 2013)
- 34% of American households are home to kids under 18, but are responsible for half of all purchases of cereal, juice, fresh meat and prepared foods.
- Moms in these households are 19% more likely than the general population to engage in social networking, become a fan of or follow a brand (31% more likely), become a fan or follow a celebrity (24% more likely), and comment on others postings (27% more likely).
- Moms account for one-fourth of all video streams occurring on social networks, and are also more likely to post their own content.
- Moms make up more than one-fifth of online video viewers and spent an average of 258 minutes viewing online video in March 2011.
- Compared to overall usage in the US, Moms spent 25% more time, about 52 minutes longer on average, viewing online video from Home PCs.
- In broadcast primetime, ad recall levels are 8% lower among moms 25-54 than non-moms of the same age and the general population. A heavy focus on products/services tends to reduce ad effectiveness among moms.
(Nielsen Company Study, May 2011)
Moms & Social Media
- Moms who post information online about electronics tend to be affluent and interested in technology. Half are early adapters, and one in three has a household income of $75,000 or more.
- Moms favor social media sites including blogs, message boards and product fan pages to research products and get firsthand product reviews and recommendations.
- A third of moms queried said they have posted reviews, opinions or experience about electronics products and retailers in the past year, compared to just a quarter of all women online.
- 84% of moms visit social media sites like Facebook, versus 74% of all adults.
- 65% visit social video sites like YouTube versus 56% of adults. A little under half visit product review sites versus
- 38% of adults. The biggest gap was 44% of moms who visit blogs versus 33% of adults.
(Consumer Electronics Assoc., Influencing CE Purchases, December 2010)
- 63% believe word-of-mouth received is credible
- 56% are likely to pass along to others
- 55% are more likely to purchase suggested product
- 39% are likely to seek out information
(Keller Fay Study, September 2010)
- New and expectant moms, as part of the demographic segment of “women in transition,” are more likely to be a member of social networks, have 43% more friends on social sites, and are more likely to recommend brand and pass along coupons. (Oxygen/NBC Universal Research, Fall 2010)
Moms, Kids and the Internet
- In a survey conducted of nearly 1,000 moms of kids aged 8 to 13 years about their children’s online behavior and why they worry about their actions online:
- Moms worry that their children may be exposed to inappropriate content and “stranger danger.”
- 61% Moms worry about their child unknowingly posting personal information
- 40% fear their child might post information online that can never be removed or deleted
- 30% worry their kids might lie about their age
- 23% fear their child may be involved in cyber-bulling behavior
- 55% of Moms feel acutely aware that colleges search online for background information when kids apply to college.
- Awareness shifts closer to 60% as kids enter junior high/high school
- Most children who spend time on social networking or gaming sites do not play unsupervised.
- Nearly 70% of Moms retain control of where and when their 8-13-year-old children play.
(Mom Central Consulting, 2010)
Moms, Kids and TV
- In a survey conducted of over 400 moms who have children under the age of 12:
- 75% of respondents indicated they watch certain shows with their children.
- 50% of respondents indicated that they’re likely also doing other things while watching television with their children. (They’re watching, but they’re not likely to be engaged.)
- Women with very small children indicated that it was “impossible for anyone to watch anything in the house when the kids are up” and women with older children experienced phases of “family TV viewing” where they watched shows targeted to their kids’ age group between ages 4-7.
- The respondents indicated that ultimately they can only truly engage in what’s on the television when their children aren’t present.
- 81% stated that they have “their shows” that they watch during what they deem to be their “me time.”
- Women are also prone to “time-shift” their preferred programming by DVRing their favorite shows or visiting On Demand, network websites and Hulu.com to re-watch shows or catch episodes they’ve missed.
(Brunner Advertising Survey, 2010)
- While 89% of Moms say failure is healthy for their child, 40% would use a magic wand to keep their child from failing.
- Worries about safety extend well beyond the playground and backyard, and 47% of Moms indicated they spy on their children’s electronic accounts (mobile texting, email, Facebook) to make sure everything is okay.
- One out of every four Moms states she needs to be involved in everything her child does.
- Among Moms of older, college-bound or college-age kids, 48% feel anxious about their children making decisions on their own and 27% worry that their child will not make the right decisions unless Mom is there to help every step of the way. This involvement continues well into the college years with 33% of Moms helping college-age kids pick their classes.
(Mom Central Consulting, December 2009 Report)
The State of Mom Continually Changes
- The US Census estimates that there are 82.5 million mothers of all ages in the US, from Baby Boomer “soccer moms” to the Gen X and Echo Boom “iMom.”
- The Moms market is continually self-renewing; approximately 4 million babies are born each year, 40% are to first-time mothers.
- Not all moms are created equally. Many demographic factors impact the moms market, including a trend towards delayed childbirth, shifts in household composition, labor force participation, and a more ethnically diverse population.
- 89% of household moms use the Internet at least twice a day
- 86% rely on search engines to find Web information
- 70% use search engines to research an online purchase
- 57% use Google, Yahoo and other search engines study up on offline buys
- 74% purchase products as a result of blog mentions (PunchTab, 2013)
- 64% use search engines to locate brick-and-mortar stores for their shopping
- 72% use search engines to compare CPG prices at different outlets
- 71% reported using online search to turn up product information
- 65% use social media to research a product or service (PunchTab, 2013)
- 71% searched to find retail locations
(Searcher Moms: A Search Behavior and User Study, DoubleClick, 2007)
More Moms Online
- A study commissioned by the Walt Disney Group’s Disney Online, conducted by C&R Research, reports that there are 31 million moms online.
- A recent Gallop poll reported that in the U.S. there are an estimated 21.2 million Web-surfing mothers .
- Moms are not only surfing the Web and spending money, they are also spending more time on the Internet than they are watching television. Research shows that 88% of moms said they rely on the Web for parental guidance, advice, and ideas for raising their children. 86% said they made an online purchase, while 85% said they clicked on an online ad, and 95% said they are online at least once a day.
Digital Divas By The Numbers
- 22% shop online at least once a day
- 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others
- 171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists
- 76% want to be part of a special or select panel
- 58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops)
- 51% are moms
(Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 72 % of mothers with children under 18 are in the workforce.
- In 2001, women held almost half of all high paying ‘executive, administrative and managerial occupations.
- Each day, more than 25 millions mothers work, in addition to performing their duties as a mother, wife or homemaker.
(Trillion Dollar Moms by Maria T. Bailey & Bonnie Worthy Ulman)
Moms and Advertising
- Only 20 % of mothers said that advertisers were doing a good job connecting with mothers. Another 70 % said that marketers are not focused on moms in their advertising and 30 % said that they see ads that offend them.
- On average, even the busiest moms say they read 4.1 magazines a month, with at least two on these titles delivered to their mailboxes.
- We asked moms if they would rather get information from a celebrity mom or an experienced mom like themselves.
- 67 % said they would more likely turn to a peer mom.
(Trillion Dollar Moms by Maria T. Bailey & Bonnie Worthy Ulman)
Women Spread the Word
- A study of 2,000 women in Canada and the U.S. showed that traditional web sites (70%) have now surpassed traditional forms of word-of-mouth (58%) as their preferred method for getting the word out about products and services.
- The study also found that only 28% of women decide what products or services to buy with out looking for some kind of help.
- 58% of women (18+) share both good and bad experiences online
- 36% share to help others make smart purchases
- 27% are asked to share
- 15% share their expertise
(Harbinger Women and Word of Mouth Study, October 2010)
- Sales within the U.S. consumer packaged goods health and wellness industry reached more than $112 billion in 2008, representing growth of 9% over 2007. (Natural Marketing Institute, 2009)
- Women account for 93% OTC pharmaceutical purchases. (Tom Peters, in the forward to Marketing to Women, by Marti Barlett)
- More than 80% of healthcare purchasing decisions are made by women. (Daria Blackwell, Knowledge Clinic Inc., at
- Women’s Health and Wellness Conference, 2008)
- As household income decreases during the economic crisis, people place more value on their health and also think about it more. (“Health Is the New Wealth” international study by DDB Health and M/A/R/C Research 2009)
- Women account for merely 60% of all hospital admissions. The impact that quality women’s health has on our nation is tremendous.
(The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women’s Health in American Hospitals Study, June 2009)
9/10 Women Seek Health Info via Web
- The internet – more than the family doctor– is the primary source for healthcare information, and women more than men seek such information online. (Natural Marketing Institute, 2009)
- Online health information is sought out by all age segments:
- 78.1% of respondents use the internet to gather health information
- Women more than men go online for health info – 83.5% vs. 72.4%
- 90.1% of women age 25 – 34 search for health information online
- More than three-quarters of those 65 years and older say they go online for health information (Burst Media Survey, 2007)
- Women are more likely than men (63% vs. 53%) to see Google searches as a reliable source of information about healthcare.
(Public Policy Polling / Capstrast, 2010)
1/4 Hospital, Urgent Care Patients Influenced by Social Media
- Social media has some type of influence on nearly 40% of recent hospital or urgent-care center patients, with more than half of 25-to-34 year olds reporting they are influenced by it. Women account for approximately 60% of those who researched family doctors online. (Ad-ology Media Influence on Consumer Choice Survey, Ad-ology Research, 2009)
- 70% of all prescriptions used in the United States are for generics. In 2000, generics accounted for only 49% of prescriptions. (The New York Times)
- 92% of physicians polled say their clinical knowledge and 88% say a patient’s unique situation greatly influence their prescribing decisions. 35% point to patients’ health insurance coverage as an important factor in prescribing, while only 5% say they often give the patient a prescription for the medicine requested. (KRC Research)
- Additionally, 50% of doctors report that they frequently recommend lifestyle or behavior changes, 18% recommend over-the-counter options and 14% recommend no treatment at all. (KRC Research)
- 73% of physicians polled stated that DTC ads helped patients ask thoughtful questions, and 91% said the patient did not try to influence the course of treatment in a way that would have been harmful. (FDA survey of physicians)
Boomer Women and Affluence
- One huge, affluent segment wields more spending clout than any other: Baby-Boomer women. Born between 1946 and 1964, these women represent a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women. (Mary Brown, Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer – The Baby-Boomer Woman)
- Senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth. (MassMutual Financial Group, 2007)
- Fifty-plus American women are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history. (Demographics by Mark Miller)
- Of the 743 women of wealth interviewed with at least $3 million in investable assets, 61.2% accumulated their fortunes through corporate employment, their own or a family business or a professional practice. Only 38.8% of the women had married into or inherited their money. (Women of Wealth, 2004, by Russ Alan Prince and Hannah Shaw Grove)
- High-net-worth women account for 39% of the country’s top wealth earners; 2.5 million of them have combined assets of $4.2 trillion. More than 1.3 million women professionals and executives earn in excess of $100,000 annually. 43% of Americans with more than $500,000 in assets are female. (MassMutual Financial Group, 2007)
- Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband. The Boomer woman is a consumer that luxury brands want to resonate with. (Claire Behar, Senior Partner and Director, New Business Development, Fleishman-Hillard New York)
- The more mature luxury consumer places the highest priority in making memories and experiences. They don’t buy things to have more things; they want the experience to go along with it. Luxury consumers expect superior quality and are extremely discerning. (Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing)
- The 55 to 75 year-old female has seen her role change from homemaker to purchaser of security, convenience and luxury items. (Barbara Kleger, president of 55+ Consulting)
- Wealthy boomer women are the marquee players in our country’s culture and commerce. They are educated, have a high income, and make 95 percent of the purchase decisions for their households. (Karen Vogel, The Women’s Congress and co-founder and president of New Generation Event Solutions)
- Once the college bills are out of the way and children launch their own households, the discretionary spending power of 50-plus women soars. They spend 2.5 times what the average person spends. Women are the primary buyers for computers, cars, banking, financial services and a lot of other big-ticket categories. (Marti Barletta, Primetime Women)
- The Baby Boomer Generation has more money, leisure time and technology than any other generation in history. They can not only stay in touch with family and friends but actually continue to pursue their careers while traveling. Thanks to Wi-Fi, satellite Internet hookups, e-mail and cell phones, baby boomers can continue running businesses from RV’s from just about anywhere in the United States. (Baby-Boomer Magazine.com)
- Affluent women juggle demands of career and family, are concerned about the environment and are discriminating shoppers. (The Affluent Market in the U.S., Dr. Robert Brown and Ms. Ruth Washton
- The number of wealthy women investors in the U.S. is growing at a faster rate than that of men. In a two-year period, the number of wealthy women in the U.S. grew 68%, while the number of men grew only 36%. (The Spectrem Group)
- Affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number, and 94.3 percent access the Internet during an average month. About half are now considered heavy users of the Internet, while heavy use of radio, television, newspapers and direct mail has declined within this group. (Ten Marketing Trends to Watch, Kim T. Gordon, Entrepreneur.com)
- Women live longer than men
- A girl born in 2010 will live an average of 81.1 years
- A boy born in 2010 will live an average of 76.3 years