Teen spending estimated to top $190 billion by 2006

November 12, 2004

Chicago, IL, November 12, 2004 — According to a new report from Mintel on teen consumers, teen spending was valued at $175 billion in 2003 and is on the rise. The estimated spending power of teens, those age 12 to 17, is expected to top $190 billion by 2006, a figure that surpasses the gross domestic product of many

countries in the world. In addition, families with teens spent $100 billion on them with projected spending for 12 to 17 year olds as $128.5 billion in 2006.

Teens represent the first significant demographic change in the past decade. Not since the Baby Boom’s teenage years has this age group been so large.

Twenty-five million strong in 2004, teens constitute 8.5% of the total US population in 2004. By 2010, teens are projected to comprise 10% of the US population.

Today’s teens are the most affluent generation of young people to date. Over one-third receive some kind of allowance from their parents, and nearly three-quarters work around the house to earn it. Almost one third of teens work while going to school and participating in other teen activities. Marketers should recognize that a considerable amount of teens work and treat them accordingly when encouraging them to spend money on their products and services.

Teen girls have generally been regarded as the primary spenders. This has now shifted. For example, teen boys are the new darling of the health and beauty industry spending an estimated $2.1 billion on personal care in 2003. Teen boys buy shampoo and hair gels, often spending on hair coloring, too. They also purchase their own soaps, deodorants, shaving products and moisturizers. This new target market represents an entirely new opportunity for marketers of many


Teens’ dollars are primarily spent on themselves. This increase in their spending power will be fueled by higher earnings from jobs held by teens, increased teen savings and expansion of family expenditures on teens. Parents will always have a difficult time saying ” no ” to their children and teens will continue to receive hand outs from parents, grandparents and relatives. Their spending clout will wield tremendous economic power and drive overall consumer trends through their purchases.

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