Country music is said to be one of those genres that you either love or you hate. In the United States, people are loving it much more than they are hating it. As the country music demographics will show, this genre reaches a wide variety of people and households.
Country music is the #1 format for adults in the 18-54 age demographic. With 2,000+ radio stations in the US, it is also the top radio format in the country.
When taken on a state-by-state basis, the minimum level of support in the 18-54 age demographic for country music is 32%. On average, 42% of adults in any given community in the US is going to prefer country music over any other genre. In total, the country music audience in the United States is estimated to be just under 100 million people.
What the Median Country Music Listener Looks Like
- 40% of country music radio listeners reside in the Top 25 designated marketing areas [DMAs] in the United States.
- 43% of people who identify themselves as part of the country music demographics are brand loyal to their musical genre.
- In 90% of the DMAs throughout the United States, at least one country radio station is ranked in the Top 5 for that market.
- Women [54%] are slightly more likely to prefer country music when compared to men.
- 44% of households that listen to country music on a regular basis have an HHI above $75k.
- The percentage of country music listeners who are married: 64%.
- More than 2.8 million people become part of the country music demographics every year.
- 3 out of 4 households that listen to country music own their own home. The average value of that home is just above $216,000.
- 60% of listeners are in the 18-49 age demographic. 32% are within the 18-34 age bracket.
- Households that listen to country have an average of 2.2 children.
- 2 out of 3 households that listen to country music own at least one pet.
- 56% of people who listen to country regularly have full-time employment.
People who listen to country music are generally content with their lives. They have a vision and they’re working to either chase their dreams or continue to build on what they’ve already built. Most would be described as Middle Class homes with a fair amount of income, steady employment, and a desire to stay in touch with the emotions that made them who they are as a person. Country music is about authenticity and as Millennials become the largest active generation in the US, the genre still has major growth potential.
The Buying Power of the Country Music Demographics
- 41% of all professional or managerial jobs are filled by people who describe themselves as country music fans.
- 44% of all hybrid vehicle owners belong to the country music demographics.
- $25.5 billion was spent on international travel by this demographic in the last year, accounting for 35% of the total spent on foreign travel by US citizens.
- Another $59 billion was spent by this demographic on domestic travel within the US – that’s 47% of all domestic travel spending.
- 46% of all spending on beauty products came from women who identify with this demographic [$7.5 billion].
- Pet owners within this category spend an estimated $44 billion every year on products and services for their animals.
- 48% of adults who entertain friends/family at home at least 2-3 times per month are Country Music fans.
- Country Music fans comprised 45% of all charitable contributions last year, giving more than $7.5 billion to charitable organizations.
- Country Music fans spent $21.7 billion in catalog and internet shopping in the past 12 months – comprising 44% of total sales.
- $8.5 billion. That’s the median amount spend on cellular services by the country music demographics.
Because the country music demographics are so large, their spending power can be very influential. People who love country have attractive economic indicators in many different areas. They are 5 percentage points more likely to own a home, 3 percentage points more likely to be married, and 5 percentage points more likely to have an HHI above $100k. They are dining out, building homes, and seeing their country and the rest of the world. No one who makes a living through marketing can afford to ignore the power of these demographics.
What Influences The Country Music Demographics?
- Men in the country music demographics are most influenced by hunting, fishing, and home remodeling.
- Women in the country music demographics are most influenced by hunting, automotive products, and fishing.
- Even with the increased popularity of pop music over the airwaves today, the Nielsen ratings in 2015 for country music slipped just 0.2 in total in the 18-34 age demographic, matching figures from 2012.
- 24% of country music fans have college degrees. 30% have some college. Just 8% have a post-graduate degree.
- 90% of country music fans say that the thing they love to do the most is to spend time with their family. 81% say that having dinner with their family every night is important.
- 79% of people in this demographic say that they wish they had even more time to spend with their families.
- 43% of active investors say that they are country music fans.
- The percentage of country music fans that say they are active on Facebook on a daily basis: 55%.
- 23% of country music fans say that they use Twitter on a regular basis.
- 49% of people say that they have a generally positive opinion of country music and another 31% say that their feelings about the genre are best described as being neutral.
- In 2015, the highest earning non-crossover country artist in the US was Garth Brooks, earning $90 million. Toby Keith was second at $53 million. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney all brought in more than $40 million.
The one place of weakness when it comes to the influence of country music fans is technology. Although 50% of people who buy new technology are in the country music demographics, 56% of people in this demographic say that they need to ask for advice about their purchases. 3 out of 4 people are engaged in some form of social media, yet only 25% of country music fans say that they’re willing to take a risk even if there is a good chance of experiencing a great reward. This seems to indicate that people within this demographic want stability, are content with what they have, and ultimately just want to do what is best for their family.
Breaking Down the Country Music Demographics Further
- 16% of the listeners in the country genre are in the 65+ age demographic.
- Another 16% of listeners fit into the 44-64 age demographic.
- 13% of listeners are in the 18-24 age range.
- 34% of country music fans hold a high school diploma or GED, but have never moved on to a college program.
- 41% of people in this demographic say that they research and compare motor vehicles before deciding on a purchase, with much of that research happening online.
- The percentage of country music fans which own at least one vehicle that has a retail value above $30,000: 43%.
- The average household which regularly listens to country music has at least 2 cell phones.
- 25% of the households in the US that do not have a landline are country music fans.
- Country mmusic fans are more likely to text when voting in a contest, download ring tones, download songs, and watch videos online when compared to the general public.
- Two-thirds of the people who describe themselves as country music fans live in either the US Midwest or the US South. More country fans live in the US West [20 million] than in the US Northeast [14 million].
- Only 22% of people say that they never listen to country music.
- 70% of people get their country music from the radio. 20% listen to country on physical CDs. Just 15% of people say they use iTunes or other music download sites as their primary method of consuming country music.
The one demographic that does dominate in country music is ethnicity. The vast majority of people [over 90%] who listen to country music on a regular basis are white/Caucasian. Just 3% of Hispanics and 5% of African-Americans say that they prefer country music to other genres of music. This may also be why some of the income and employment statistics within this demographic are so high compared to the rest of the general population. This doesn’t necessarily mean that country music is racist – it just means the content in the music is only attractive to one particular ethnicity.