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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Missing: The Average American Consumer

In just a few months, the "biggest market research project of the decade" will be conducted by the US Census Bureau when it begins to count heads and amass information on the American population. And although data won't begin to be released until 2011, demographic expert Peter Francese has some projections as to what it might reveal:
  • 309 million people live in the United States, but one person will be missing: the average American. "The concept of an 'average American' is gone, probably forever," Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Advertising Age white paper, "and replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling."

  • US households are growing more complex and varied. The iconic American family of two parents with kids is just 22% of the population.
  • Minorities are the new majority. In the two largest states, as well as New Mexico and Hawaii, the nation's traditional majority group - white non-Hispanics - is in the minority. And in the nation's 10 largest cities, he says, "no racial or ethnic category describes a majority of the population." He also notes how diversity varies greatly by age, "with the younger population substantially more diverse than the old."

Peter Francese is a demographic trends analyst at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and founder of American Demographics magazine. His 32-page report, available at, will give marketers a window on what the census will show and how to adapt those findings in a marketing world reliant on broadscale demographics that no longer exist. The cost of the white paper is $249.00.

Read the article: New US Census to Reveal Major Shift: No More Joe Consumer.

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