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Ipsos-American-Affluents-Annual-Expenditures-by-Category-Sept2013The American affluent population (defined as individuals aged 18 and over and living in households with at least $100,000 in annual income) is increasing in size and average wealth, according to the latest study of this segment from Ipsos. The report reveals that affluents spend $1.9 billion annually – and that those dollars are highly concentrated among a select group of areas. In fact, half of affluent spending goes to 4 categories, and an additional 30% to another 4.

The top 8 categories by share of annual spending by affluents (with associated annual dollar amounts) are:

  • Automotive (18% share): $343 billion;
  • Personal insurance (11%): $223 billion;
  • Home and garden (11%): $209 billion;
  • Education expenses (10%): $186 billion;
  • Groceries (9%): $177 billion;
  • Travel (8%): $161 billion;
  • Apparel, accessories and eyewear (7%): $134 billion; and
  • Computers, electronics and home entertainment (6%): $115 billion.

(Automotive includes the purchase price of vehicles and motorvehicles, as well as auto maintenance and supplies.)

Rounding out the top 10 are charitable donations, accounting for 5% of annual spending (or $94 billion) and leisure, entertainment and dining, representing 4% of total spending (or $87 billion). In total, the top 10 categories (out of 158 measured) cover 89% of spending by American affluents, per the study’s results.

What Are Affluents Buying Online?

The Ipsos study also measures the categories (among 40 identified) most commonly purchased online by affluents, sorted by device.

The top 5 categories purchased by computer (among all affluents) are:

  • Airline tickets (51%);
  • Hotel/resort/motel reservations (39%);
  • Apparel and accessories: women’s (38%);
  • Event tickets (37%); and
  • Books (35%).

The top 5 categories purchased by smartphone, among smartphone owners are:

  • Music/video (29%);
  • Applications (22%);
  • Games (18%);
  • Take-out/delivery food orders (12%); and
  • Event tickets (10%).

Finally, the top 5 categories purchased by tablet, among tablet owners are:

  • Books (26%);
  • Apps (21%);
  • Music/video (19%);
  • Games(18%); and
  • Apparel and accessories: women’s (13%).

Other Findings:

  • More affluent households are purchasing a range of tech products this year, ranging from tablets (43%, from 34% last year) to smartphones (60%, from 52%) and music/video downloads (40%, from 34%). They’re also spending more on each of these purchases.
  • While the percentage of affluent households contributing to charities is flat from last year, the average amount they are contributing has increased.
  • 45% of affluents are planning to redecorate, remodel or renovate their home or grounds in the next 12 months.
  • 78% are planning to take a trip or vacation, with the majority of those planning to do so within the US.
  • Affluents own or lease an average of 2.7 vehicles per household, and 17% claim ownership of a luxury vehicle.

About the Data: The data is derived from a survey of 13,348 affluents conducted between March and July 2013 by postal mail.

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