Statistics on the
Purchasing Power of Women

Women and Global Spending

  • Women control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending. (Source: Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, October 2010)

Women and U.S. Spending

  • The purchasing power of women in the U.S. ranges from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually. (Source: Nielsen Consumer, 2013)
  • Women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. (Source: Federal Reserve, MassMutual Financial Group, BusinessWeek, Gallup)
  • Women purchase over 50% of traditional male products, including automobiles, home improvement products, and consumer electronics. (Source: Andrea Learned, “Don’t Think Pink”)
  • Approximately 40% of U.S. working women now out-earn their husbands. (Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Girlpower Marketing Asterisk

91% of women feel that advertisers don’t understand them.

(Source: Yankelovich Monitor and Greenfield Online)

Consumer Purchases by Women

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases:

  • 91% of New Homes
  • 66% PCs
  • 92% Vacations
  • 80% Healthcare
  • 65% New Cars
  • 89% Bank Accounts
  • 93% Food
  • 93% OTC Pharmaceuticals

(Source: Yankelovich Monitor & Greenfield Online)

Education and Careers of Women

Women: Education & Careers

  • Women have made substantial strides in recent decades and now surpass men in both college enrollment and completion. 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. (Source: Pew Research Center)
  • Women account for approximately 58% of students in two-and- four-year colleges in the US. (Source: Silverstein and Sayre, 2009)
  • Overall, 140 women graduated in 2013 with a college degree at some level for every 100 men, (Source: American Enterprises Institute, Carpe Diem, Mark J. Perry, 2013)
  • Women earned 61.6% of all associate’s degrees, 56.7% of all bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of all master’s degrees, and 51.6% of all doctor’s degrees in 2013. (Source: m2w.biz)
  • Since 1982, women have earned 4.35 million more bachelor’s degrees than men (22.43 million for women vs. 18.08 million for men). (Source: m2w.biz)

Women and Finances

  • Over the next decade, women will control two-thirds of all 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. (Source: Mediapost, April 19, 2013; She-conomy)
  • Just 20% of female breadwinners said they were ‘very well prepared’ to make wise financial decisions, versus 45% of their male peers. (Source: New York Times, January 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. (Source: Pew Research Center)
  • Earnings of full-time female workers have risen by 31% since 1979, compared to a 2% rise in male earnings. (Source: “Women In America,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, 2011)
  • 40% of households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. (Source: Pew Research Center, May 2013)
  • 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%. (Source: The Spectrum Group)
  • 93% of women say they have significant influence on what financial services their family purchases, (Source: Harvard Business Review, Boston Consulting Group Survey)
  • Financial services companies admit that they haven’t done a great job of attracting women as customers, but with women rising fast on the income and managerial ranks, they’re now paying more attention. The number of women-owned firms increased by 54% between 1997 and 2012 – that’s a rate 1 1/2 times the national average. (Source: m2w.biz)
  • Women differ substantially from men in how they relate to investing. They don’t want to hear about the growth or comparative performance of different funds; they want information about reaching their long-term goals, like putting a child through college. (Source: Vanguard Group’s Asset Management & Advice Services Division)
  • 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%). (Source: Penn Mutual 2nd Annual Worth Survey for Women, 2010)
  • 84% feel misunderstood by investment marketers. (Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Women in Business

  • Over 9 million businesses are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 8 million people, and generating $1.4 trillion in sales as of 2008. (Source: American Express, 2014)
  • Women-owned firms (50% or more) account for 40% of all privately held firms. (Source: “Buying Power,” Catalyst, 2013)
  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned. (Source: “Buying Power,” Catalyst, 2013)
  • 76% question whether most companies understand their needs as women. (Source: Entrepreneur Tracking Study, Linkage Research, 2013)
  • Women now make up 40% of new directors on Fortune 100 boards. (Source, Forbes, 2012)

Girlpower Marketing Asterisk

One out of every 11 American women owns a business.

(Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

Women and Shopping

  • 74.9% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households (Source: GFK MRI, Survey of the American Consumer, 2011)
  • 92% of women pass along information about deals or online recommendations to others. (Source: Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
  • 61% of women are more likely to include an item on their list if they’re currently using the brand, 57% if they have a coupon, or 56% if they have seen the item in a store ad or circular. (Source: Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, 2012)
  • In 61% of all consumer electronics purchases, a woman either initiated the purchase or was involved in the purchase process. (Source: Consumer Electronics Association (2012).

Women and Motherhood

  • Traditional nuclear families with two married heterosexual parents are now the minority of U.S. The rise of single motherhood is the largest influence on this trend — followed by gay families and multigenerational families. (Source: Pew Research Center)
  • 71.3% of mothers with children under 18 years of age participate in the workforce, (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)
  • There are about 85 million mothers in the U.S. 34% of women ages 18-64 have young children at home; in 1960, 52% did. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014)
  • Women in the U. S. are waiting longer to start families, with the average age of new moms now at 25. (Source: Sound Vision, 2017)
  • Average number of children that U.S. women today have is 2. (Source: Sound Vision, 2017)

The Purchasing Power of Women in Various Markets

Women & Travel

  • Women make 70% of all travel decisions. (Source: Bridget Brennan, “Why She Buys”.)
  • 73% of travel agents surveyed noted that more female travelers embark on solo trips than their male counterparts. (Source: The Gutsy Traveler)
  • According to 68% of travel agents, most female clients taking trips in small groups are over the age of 45. (Source: The Gutsy Traveler)
  • The average adventure traveler is not a 28-year old male, but a 47-year-old female who wears a size 12 dress. (Source: Travel Industry of America)
Statistics on thePurchasing Power of Women

Women & Food

  • Women spend more money per shopping trip – $44.43 per trip compared to $34.81 for men. (Source: Todd Hale, “In U.S. Men Are Shopping More Than Ever, While Women Are Watching More TV” Nielsen (2011).
  • 60% of moms believe that organic foods are better for their health. (Source: Food and Drug Administration).
  • 84%of women are the sole preparer of meals in the household, with 61% stating that they prepare meals at least five times per week. The majority of these meals are not prepackaged, as 64% said they make most meals using fresh ingredients. (Source: “Today’s Primary Shopper”, Private Label Manufacturers Association)
  • Millennials are most likely to engage with retailers using social media or other digital tools. (Source: US Grocery Trends, 2016)
  • Facebook, Pinterest and web searches are among the most common ways consumers digitally engage with food culture. About half of all shoppers engage with food digitally through social media – especially younger generations. (Source: US Grocery Trends, 2016)
  • 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers. (Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Women & Healthcare

  • Women make 90% of household healthcare decisions. (Source: Yankelovich Monitor, M2W Conference)
  • Women account for 93% OTC pharmaceutical purchases. (Source: Tom Peters, in the forward to “Marketing to Women”, by Marti Barletta)
  • The internet – more than the family doctor– is the primary source for healthcare information, and women more than men seek such information online. (Source: Natural Marketing Institute, 2009)
  • More than three-quarters of those 65 years and older say they go online for health information (Source: Burst Media Survey, 2007)
  • 9 of 10 women online seek health information via the web. The Internet – more than the family doctor – is the primary source for healthcare information, and women seek such information online more than men. (Source: National Marketing Institute)
  • 66% feel misunderstood by health care market. (Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Women & Technology

  • Products that topped women’s purchase lists, in order: smartphones, tablets, laptops, HDTVs, digital cameras, and headphones. (Source: Consumer Electronics Association, June 2013)
  • Female gamers over 55 spend more time online gaming than males ages 15 to 24. (Source: Ford Motor Company and Trendwatching.com study, 2013)
  • 44.4% of women say social media is a good way to keep up with the latest content. Other reasons include sharing content with family and friends (40.9%), sharing personal opinions or comments (26.7%) and seeing what other fans or followers are saying about the content (25.4%).
  • 50% of women say staying current on a brand’s latest offerings is a top reason to follow brands on social media sites. (Source: Burstmedia, 2012)
  • 56% of women in the US use social networking sites:
    > 58% of Facebook users are women
    > 64% of Twitter users are women
    > 82% of Pinterest users are women
    (Source: Mashable, 2012; Pew Research Center)

Women & Sports

  • Women Make Up:
    > 47.2% of major league soccer fans
    > 46.5% of MLB fans
    > 43.2% NFL fans
    > 40.8% of NHL fans
    > 37% of NBA fans
    > Women make 46% of official NFL merchandise purchases
    (Source: Compiled by Marketing to Women Conference (Including Yankelovich Monitor & Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)
  • 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). (Source: Nielsen, 2012)
  • 44% of women say they prefer ads during the Super Bowl to any other aspect of the game. (Source: Lab42 Research Study, 2013)
  • Of the NFL’s 185 million fans, 45% are women. (Source: Business Week, 2013)
  • Sales of women’s NFL apparel have tripled in the last four years. (Source: Business Week, 2013)

Women & Automobiles

  • Women make 65% of new car purchase decisions. (Source: Yankelovich Monitor, M2W Conference)
  • Women spend over $200 billion on new cars & mechanical servicing of vehicles each year. (Source: She-conomy)
  • 45% of all light trucks and SUVs are purchased by women. (Source: Women-Drivers.com, 2010)
  • Women own 12.3% of all motorcycles in the country, a 28% increase in 5 years. (Source: MSN Autos, 2009)
  • 77% of women take a man along to a dealership to prevent being taken advantage of. (Source: Women Certified, Delia Passi, cited in Automotive News, 2011)
  • Women make up to 52% of all new vehicle purchases including trucks and influence 80% of purchases. (Source: Bridget Brennan, “We Buys”)
  • 74% feel misunderstood by automotive marketers. (Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Women & Electronics

  • In 61% of all consumer electronic purchases, a woman either initiated the purchase or was involved in the purchase process. (Source: “Tip for Valentine’s Day: Women Want Electronics”, Laura Hubbard, 2012)
  • U.S. women spend an average of $822 on gadgetry each year and account for more than half of their household’s total consumer-electronics spending. (Source: Consumer Electronics Association, Influence CE Purchases, 2010)
  • 45% of all video game players are women. (Consumer Electronics Association,
  • Influence CE Purchases, 2010, Jamie Dunham, Lipstick Economy)
  • Female gamers 55+ spend more time ongoing gaming than males ages 15 to 24. (Source: Ford Motor Company and Trendwatching.com study, 2013)

Millennial Women Statistics

  • 60% of US women 18-29 are single.
  • 31% increase in the number of US single women 30-34 between 2007-2012.
  • 26% of US adults 18-32 are married.
  • 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 a priority.
  • 50% say getting married is a priority.

(Source: Levi’s survey of 1,000 Millennials, 2010)

Millennial Women and Purchasing Power

Millennial Women

  • Nearly 90% of Millennials talk to their parents once a week or more, and 50% speak with them every day. (Source: Influence-Central, 2016)
  • Even though Millennials live and breathe online, they also rely on in-person conversations to sway purchases. Nearly 70% seek in-person word-of-mouth recommendations. (Source: Influence-Central, 2016)
  • When making technology purchases (computer, cellphone, tablet, etc.), Millennials rely most on their friend’s advice (66%), over their spouse’s/significant other’s advice (59%), or parent’s advice (37%).(Source: Influence-Central, 2016)
  • 68% of Millennials rare unfazed by a celebrity spokesperson’s influence when promoting a brand/product. (Source: Influence-Central, 2016)

Millennial Moms

  • Millennial moms make up about 20% of all U.S. mothers. They have 3.4 social media accounts on average, vs. 2.6 for all other moms. (Source: Weber Shandwick, July 2013)
  • 61% of Millennial Moms share content online at least once a day. (SheKnows, Nov. 2013)
  • 64% of moms put the most trust in recommendations from people they know personally. (Source: SheKnows, Nov. 2013)
  • 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 vs. 30% feeling the same about a successful marriage. (Source: Jamie Dunham Brand Wise)
  • 51% of children being born to Millennials are to single Moms. (Source: US ChamberFoundation.org)
  • 46% of Millennial Moms believe that marriage is becoming obsolete. (Source: Pew Research Center)

Millennial Digital Purchases

  • 95% of Millennial Moms own a smartphone. 81% of Moms prefer texting over talking. (Source: Influence-Central)
  • Millennials multi-task while in-store: going online to seek out new information, and ensure they’ve identified the best product for the best price. Moreover, they don’t limit themselves to one-stop shopping, and their path to purchase remains fluid, with external choices making a key impact. Ultimately, these outside factors hold far more sway than in-store advertising. (Source: Influence-Central)
  • As Millennial Moms increasingly rely on personal recommendations and storytelling to help shape their purchasing decisions, they look to blogs and social networks to learn about product features and evaluate potential purchases. In fact, 69% of Millennial Moms use blogs to learn about new products, while 64% use other social platforms. (Source: Influence-Central)

Gen-X Women

  • Women and minorities made up 64% of Gen-X college graduates. (Source: Huffington Post)
  • Gen-X women are outpacing Gen-X men in the pursuit of higher education, with 32% of women having earned a bachelor’s degree by age 27. Comparatively, only 24 percent of men had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they were the same age. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Gen-X women spend more time on social media (7 hours or more per week) than Millennial women (6 hours or more per week). (Source: Nielsen, 2017)
  • 52% of mothers with children under 5 are working (increases to 77% by the time the youngest is between 10-14 – this work is mostly part-time.
  • 50% of Gen X women feel they are in a worse position financially than they expected. (Source: The AdviceExchange)

Empty Nesters

  • More than 80% of today’s Empty-Nesters have made the shift to online purchasing, with more than 80% spending more time browsing for products online than in the store. (Source: Influence Central and Vibrant Nation)
  • 65% of Empty-Nesters use their Smartphone to seek out product information. (Source: Influence Central and Vibrant Nation)
  • 80% of Empty-Nesters are more likely to purchase a product if it receives a high star rating in a retail e-commerce review. (Source: Influence Central and Vibrant Nation)
  • 75% are more likely to purchase a product that receives a positive first-person review. (Source: Influence Central and Vibrant Nation)
  • 45% of Empty-Nesters are more likely to purchase a product if it is recommended by a blogger they follow. (Source: Influence Central and Vibrant Nation)

Boomer Women

  • Every fifth adult in the United States is a female over 50. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
  • 50+ American women are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history. (Source: Demographics by Mark Miller)
  • Women 50+ control a net worth of $19 trillion. (Source: 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. (Source: Fleishman-Hillard New York)
  • Once college bills are paid, women 50+ spend 2.5 times what the average person spends, and are primary buyers of computers, cars, banking, and financial services. (Source: Marti Barletta, “PrimeTime Women”)
  • Wealthy boomer women are the marquee players in our country’s culture and commerce. They are educated, have a high income, and make 95% of the purchase decisions for their households. (Source: Karen Vogel, The Women’s Congress; She-conomy)
  • Over 30 million women 50+ are the fastest growing demographic online. (Source: DMN3)
  • Women 50+ spend, on average, 250% of what the population in general does. (Source: DMN3)
  • Baby Boomer women spend upwards of $20 billion each year on clothing. (Source: DMN3)
Purchasing Power of Boomer Women