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Women Drive The Consumer Spending Economy, But Don’t Hold Enough Financial Power

The women of today make up more than half of the U.S. population and have a huge influence on our economy. In fact, women control over $20 trillion in annual consumer spending and drive 70-80% of all consumer purchases in the U.S. Not only are women buying for themselves, they’re often the sole person buying for their family and children. Aside from their purchases, their shopping decisions and expectations have an even greater impact, making it important for brands to understand the power this demographic holds.  

Here are a few key statistics surrounding women’s spending habits and power in the U.S. economy: 

  • In 2019, consumer spending by women in the US totaled $6.4 trillion. [Source: Catalyst]
  • Women make 91 percent of new home purchases. [Source: Top Media Advertising]
  • An average of 89 percent of women across the world reported controlling or sharing daily shopping needs, household chores and food prep compared to approximately 41 percent of men. [Source: Nielsen]
  • Women spend more money per grocery shopping trip than men, averaging out to $44.43 per trip. [Source: Nielsen]
  • In 2019, 45 percent of women said they make the majority of household and/or children’s purchases within their homes. [Source: Civic Science]
  • About half of women in the US believe that having minority-held leadership positions is important and believe that retailers would benefit from hiring Chief Diversity Officer positions. [Source: First Insight
  • 55 percent of women in the US say they would temporarily stop shopping at a brand or retailer who released an offensive product. [Source: First Insight

While women make up the largest portion of consumer spending, they still face unique financial struggles, such as the gender pay gap, female entrepreneurs receiving less than 3% of VC funding, and the “motherhood penalty” making a long-term impact in women’s ability to accumulate wealth at the same rate as men. Despite these obstacles, the number of women in the U.S. workforce has surpassed that of men and their purchasing power and sense of financial empowerment is starting to increase too. 

Check out the visual guide from Lexington Law below that highlights key facts on women’s spending power, quotes from notable women and tips for women overcoming financial obstacles.