Affluent Optimism on the Rise

Latest Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer Finds Affluents Increasingly Optimistic about the Economy, and Their Own Lives

Monday, March 04, 2013

New York, NY – Affluent optimism in the U.S. economy, and in their own futures, rose significantly in February, according to Ipsos MediaCT’s February 2013 Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer, released today. The survey defines “Affluent” as adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income – approximately 20% of the U.S., Affluents hold 69% of the privately held net worth in America, and are vitally important for many marketplace categories including luxury, automotive, financial, technology, and travel.

In February, 43% of Affluents were optimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 40% in December 2012, and 34% in October 2012. In contrast, only 36% described themselves as pessimistic in February 2013. In addition, 52% now believe they personally will be better off in 12 months, up from 41% in December 2012. Dr. Stephen Kraus, SVP & Chief Insights Officer, concludes: “Affluent optimism has risen in 2013, buoyed by the performance of stock and housing markets, as well as perceived improvements in the economy as a whole, and the job market in particular.”

The Barometer found that luxury spending among Affluents will likely remain at current levels, but shows significant growth potential among Ultra Affluents, the 2-4% of Americans with at least $250K+ household income. Ultra Affluent spending on luxury shows particularly strong growth potential in categories related to travel, apparel, accessories, watches and jewelry.

The bi-monthly survey’s “buzz” topic: multi-tasking. It reveals that media multi-tasking is now a way of life among Affluents, who tend to be early adopters of the latest technology, including tablets and smartphones. Key media multi- tasking findings among Affluents include:

  • 27% multi-task “almost constantly,” and an additional 37% multi-task “regularly”
  • 66% agree, “multi-tasking helps me be more productive”
  • 51% have engaged with social media about a television program while watching that program
  • 58% of smartphone owners “regularly” or “almost constantly” use their smartphone while watching TV, and 66% would find it “extremely” or “very” difficult to live without their smartphone
  • 53% of tablet owners “regularly” or “almost constantly” use their tablets while watching TV, and 33% would find it “extremely” or “very” difficult to live without their tablet

About the Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer

The February 2013 Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer was conducted online February 1-8, 2013 with 1,055 adults aged 18+ with household income (HHI) of $100K+ (“Affluent”). The sample included 192 Ultra Affluents, defined as adults 18+ with HHI of $250K+. The data were weighted to reflect U.S. Census data. The Barometer is a widely-cited study of Affluent attitudes, optimism and buzz, and complements the Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, an industry-leading study in its 36th year of tracking the lives, lifestyles, media habits and purchase patterns of Affluent Americans.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Steve Kraus
SVP, Chief Insights Officer
Audience Measurement Group
Ipsos MediaCT

About Ipsos MediaCT

Ipsos MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space. We work with leading companies in technology, entertainment and all sectors of media – TV, online, print, mobile, outdoor, radio – helping owners and advertisers to better understand different audiences, the content they consume, the channels they use to consume it and the technology they use to discover, talk about and access this content.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 million (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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Affluent Optimism on the Rise

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Steve Kraus
SVP, Chief Insights Officer, US
Ipsos Connect