Stat: Why Gen X Travelers Could Be a Marketing Opportunity

Shullman Pulse has released a new study pointing to the potential of marketing to Gen X travelers, particularly those in the affluent market. Upscale Gen-X'ers have different interests, goals, and concerns compared with the other generations.

One of the main goals for half of them, says the report, is to provide for their children's college expenses, and almost as many are focused on having enough income for retirement. Also on their minds are their own health, recession, crime, and climate change. But, at the same time, more than half are optimistic about the U.S. economy and two-thirds are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with life today.

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The report focuses on the entire Gen-X generation, currently 34 to 48 years old, both those who are upscale and either millionaires or with a household income of $250,000 or more, and the balance of Gen-X'ers, who do not have high net worth or household income and identified as mass-market Gen-X'ers. Millionaires are defined as consumers with a personalnet worth of $1 million or more.

Based on an estimated total adult population of 236.9 million according to the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of the Census published in the fall of 2013, the Generation Age Range is, in number of adults and percent of adults:

Compared with all adults, and especially compared with their mass-market generational peers, upscale Gen-X'ers are more optimistic about the U.S. economy.

And, affluent Gen-X'ers are planning significant expenditures. Traveling for pleasure tops the list among all adults. 65% of upscale Gen-X'ers plan on traveling for pleasure, compared with just more than half of mass-market Gen-X'ers. Luxury purchasing is also in the plans of half of the upscale Gen-X'ers, compared with less than one third of their mass-market generational peers.

60 million Gen-X'ers constitute 25% of all adults, but hold 29% of estimated net worth dollars and earned 31% of total income dollars. More importantly, on a per adult basis Gen-X'ers rank as the number one generation based on total net worth dollars and total income dollars.

The bottom line, says the report, is that Gen-X'ers (especially the affluent) are a complex group, with more serious concerns than Boomers and Millennials, while being generally upbeat and ready to spend at the same time.

The upscale Gen-X'ers have an average household income that is close to three times that of adults in the general population. Since 36% of them (about 2 million adults) have household incomes of $250,000 or more, the remaining 64% (about 4 million adults) derive their "upscale" status from having a personal net worth of $1 million or more. More than 75% of the Gen-X'ers fall into the "millionaire" definition, which means that the remaining quarter live in households with incomes of $250,000 or more.