Home Young Families are the Real Early Adopters

Young Families are the Real Early Adopters

According to a new report from Forrester Research, young families are leading the charge when it comes to adopting new technologies. More so than young singles, young families tend to own consumer electronics like Blu-ray players and home theater systems. They are also more likely to own PCs. Older families with older children at home are even more likely to have broadband at home than younger families and are slightly more likely to own laptops, MP3 players, and portable GPS devices.

Young Families as Early Adopters

According to this report, PC penetration will reach its saturation point by 2013, though a growing number of households will continue to install home networks.

Interestingly, Forrester found that young families are the most enthusiastic consumers when it comes to adopting new technologies. They are more likely to own a Blu-ray player, for example, than any other group, including young singles. They are also more likely to own a game console (especially a Wii) or a mobile phone that can play music and videos.

Older singles and couples without children get left behind here. They are less likely to own any of these gadgets and only 73% of them actually own PCs.

In many ways, it makes sense that young families are leading the charge when it comes to adopting new technologies. After all, the parents are likely to have grown up with the Internet and mobile technology as essential parts of their daily lives. As Jacqueline Anderson, the author of this report, points out in an interview with the New York Times, this group is also more likely to buy digital camcorders and cameras so that they can chronicle their children’s early years.


When it comes to the Internet, young singles and couples, according to Forrester, are still the most connected group. They represent about 49 million adults in the US and 87% of them are online. They also spend more time online than any other group (16.6 hours). At the same time, these young singles and couples are also more likely to bypass regular TV service and home phone service altogether.

We would have expected older families (over 40 with kids younger than 18) to be somewhat less connected, but 84% of these families are online and 2 out of three have a broadband connection at home. As expected, however, these families tend to spend more time with traditional media sources than younger families, which probably explains why this group is more interested in purchasing high-definition TVs than others.

Internet users over 40 who are either single or empty-nesters – a total of 101 million adults – use the Internet and new technologies less for entertainment. Instead, this group focuses on using services that provide immediate and obvious benefits, including online shopping.

A few more stats from this report we found interesting:

  • only 4% of US households plan to get a DVR in the next six months
  • 83% of those who own a camera phone also own a digital camera and 26% of those own more than one camera
  • for older couples and families, traditional media still remains important, but for families and singles under 40, new media use (in terms of hours spent per week) has now surpassed traditional media
  • more than 70% of older singles and couples without children read local newspapers in print or online; only about 45% of young singles do so
  • young singles and couples without children are 25% more likely to buy Apple laptops and 15% more likely to purchase an Apple desktop than other groups


All of this data is based on a survey Forrester conducted by mail in February and March 2009. In total, 53,668 households in the US and Canada responded. The data was weighed by age, gender, household income, household size, education level, region, and market size.

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