CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Work with us to learn more.
1. A strong majority of Americans support setting maximum age limits for elected officials.
Recent incidents involving Senators Mitch McConnell and Diane Feinstein have sparked concerns about the age of some U.S. elected officials. With the median age of senators at a record high of 65, and the prospect of President Biden serving until 86, the idea of setting a maximum age limit appears to be a popular one. New CivicScience data show nearly 8-in-10 voting-age Americans support maximum age limits, with 57% ‘strongly’ supportive of such an idea.
Though potential age limits garner majority support among all age groups, Gen Z adults are significantly less likely than older generations to back the idea. Independents are most likely to be in favor of maximum age limits, while Republicans are 12 points more likely to support them than Democrats.
2. More than 4 in 5 Americans say they have experienced some form of natural disaster.
Recent statistics show natural disasters are escalating in frequency and strength. In the U.S., billion-dollar disasters have spiked from an average of 6.7 per year (2000-2009) to an average of 20 per year so far this decade. Another such disaster occurred last week, where wildfires in Hawaii tragically claimed the lives of at least 90 people, becoming the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, and causing an estimated total of $5.6 Billion in property damage.
CivicScience polling finds that 86% of Americans say they have personally experienced or been affected by some form of natural disaster. At the forefront, as most commonly encountered, are severe thunderstorms and severe winter weather (such as blizzards). One-third say they’ve encountered flooding, with another 33% saying they’ve been impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes.
The extent of disaster impacts varies significantly based on which region of the country respondents live in. Although tornadoes can occur anywhere, individuals living in the Northeast are least likely to report personal experiences with them. Similarly, Americans residing in western states appear to have fewer encounters with severe storms and tornadoes, but are roughly three times likelier to be impacted by earthquakes or wildfires.
3. E-Bike popularity doubles pre-pandemic levels, injuries mount.
E-bike popularity surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. CivicScience data show in 2019, 27% of Americans were unaware of e-bikes; now, only 13% remain unfamiliar in 2023. Ridership has more than doubled from 5% to 11% along with a six percentage point increase in those intending to try them.
One notable consequence of this increase in popularity? Injuries — especially among younger adults. Twelve percent of Americans say that they or someone in their household have been injured while riding an e-bike or e-scooter. Fewer than 1% of those 45 and older report having been injured on an e-bike or e-scooter, compared with 7% of Millennials and as high as 19% of Gen Z adults.
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