Demographic Dive: Moms

May 06, 2019

With Mother’s Day around the corner, moms are on our minds.

Who is the modern mom and how can a company effectively market to mothers? We dive into the mom demographic to answer these questions. We cover how many moms there are, what their spending and income power looks like, their preferences, how effective marketing targeting moms is and finish with a look at digital behaviors that impact their purchasing behavior.


Of course, everyone has a mother, but what is the mom population in the U.S.?

There are 43.5 million mothers in the U.S. Of those, 5 million mothers are stay-at-home moms, which is about 11% of all U.S. moms. Millennials make up about 20% of all U.S. moms.

9.8 million mothers are single moms, or about 23% of all moms. Single moms make up 81% of all single parent families in the U.S.

The average age of a first-time mom in the U.S. is 25.8. The average household has 1.9 children.


Mothers have a considerable amount of financial power—they have spending power of $2.4 trillion. They also control 85% of household purchases.

In 2018, the average annual salary of a mom was $162,581, which was about $5,000 higher than in 2017. A single mother earns a median income of $35,400. However, childcare costs account for about 40% of a single mother’s income. One in 3 families spends 20% of their annual income on childcare costs.


What do moms like? Well, that depends on the mom.

Foursquare identified 9 types of moms and their preferences for shopping and spending in its 2018 Mom’s the Word report. We will provide a brief overview of these 9 segments below.

#1: New Moms

Prioritize getting back in shape after pregnancy

11% more likely than the average female to visit gyms and 12% more likely to visit yoga studios

Mindful of what they are feeding themselves and their families; 7% more likely to visit health food stores; 4% more likely to visit juice bars; 5% more likely to visit Whole Foods

Appreciate the convenience of a one-stop shop: 28% more likely to visit Target; 22% less likely to visit grocery stores

Enjoy beer venues; 11% more likely than the average U.S. female consumer to visit beer bars

#2: Moms of Young Children

Visit kid-friendly food venues so they can bring the little ones along

Shuttle kids to after-school school activities

Prefer convenient dining over more health-conscious options; 12% more likely than the average female U.S. consumer to visit fast food

Refuel on the go—they are prone to stopping at convenience stores, gas stations and are 17% more likely to visit Sonic Drive-In

#3: Moms of Teens

More price-conscious; 44% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to visit discount stores

Less health and fitness-oriented; 33% less likely to visit cycling studios; 23% less likely to visit Pilates studios; 18% less likely to visit salad spots

Supportive of their athletic kids and are often seen at professional sports games

#4: Empty Nesters

Enjoy high-end culture; 78% more likely than the average U.S. female consumer to visit opera houses; 24% more likely to visit theaters

Like to cook; 24% more likely to enjoy farmers’ markets and 15% more likely to enjoy gourmet shops

Ready to decorate: 31% more likely to browse antique shops; 23% more likely to browse furniture stores

#5: Working Moms

More likely to commute by mass transit

Work on their homes; 48% more likely than the average female U.S. consumer to browse Crate & Barrel; 31% more likely to peruse The Container Store; 27% more likely to browse IKEA

Take breaks to recharge; 24% more likely to hang out at wine bars; 15% more likely to visit wine shops

#6: Tech-Savvy Moms

Working professionals who don’t spend all their time indoors

Healthy eaters, favoring nutritious options over junk food; 28% more likely to shop at health food stores; 28% more likely to stop by salad spots; 25% more likely to visit juice bars

#7: Active Moms

Fuel up with coffee

Say yes to indulgences, treating themselves to sweets after a tough workout; 22% more likely to visit pie shops; 6% more likely to visit donut shops; 5% more likely to visit yogurt shops; 3% more likely to visit bakeries

#8: Moms of Multiple Kids

Price-conscious; 23% more likely to shop at discount stores; 9% more likely to shop at big box stores; 38% more likely to shop at 99 Cents Only; 21% more likely to shop at Dollar Tree; 19% more likely to shop at Target

Take the time DIY

Not into organic or vegetarian; 40% less likely to shop at organic grocery stores; 31% less likely to stop by vegetarian restaurants

#9: Millennial Moms

Music and nightlife fans, enjoy active experiences, enjoy boutique fitness, appreciate old school arts and culture

Tend to be older first-time mothers with the average Millennial starting to have kids around age 30

About 8 in 10 cite safety as a top priority when purchasing products (higher than value or price)

Say identity and third-wave feminism as important (more so than other generations)


Marketing that targets mothers often misses the mark.

Most moms (51%) say advertisers do a bad job with their mom-related marketing by presenting outdated views of who they are and what they want. 46% of mothers think mom-related marketing shows unrealistic ideals. And almost a third of moms feel pigeonholed by brands, think marketing to mothers is sexist and that most marketing to moms is patronizing.

There is a disconnect between the way brands show motherhood and how moms actually feel, which include:

Brand: motherhood is the toughest job in the world vs. Mom: I don’t view having kids as another job

Brand: being a mom is about caring and nurturing vs. Mom: It’s an emotionally complex relationship

Brand: moms should be put on a pedestal vs. Mom: I’m a real, flawed individual, not a saint

Brand: motherhood is hectic with flashes of pride vs. Mom: I expect more out of life than just drudgery

Media traditionally put mom in one of 2 categories: either as a working mom or as a stay-at-home mom. Millennial moms hate these distinctions and ask why they have to be one or the other.


Most moms engage in several online activities that impact their purchasing habits.

The average U.S. mom spends 3 hours online daily. Most (59% of moms) primarily use a smartphone to get online. Millennials are tech-savvy, turning to the Internet for product research, discovery and nutritional information. Millennial moms use their smartphones during every stage in their shopping journeys.

Almost 9 in 10 moms (88%) use social media, 59% of whom use their social networks multiple times throughout the day.

What are they doing on their social media channels? 66% of moms turn to social media for parenting advice. 73 percent of new parents use Facebook to get recommendations on products or services, and millennial parents are significantly more likely to join online parenting and buy-and-sell communities.

55% of moms who are active daily on social media made a purchase because of a recommendation from a personal review blog. Most millennial moms (51%) value recommendations from fellow millennial moms over recommendations from experts.  Millennial moms are also twice as likely to ask for recommendations than mothers in other age groups.

Like all other generations of parents, most Millennial parents tend to be loyal to brands. They are also more likely to care about what a brand stands for—about 50% of all parents research this.

Service Tags: 
Social Media Management
Marketing Strategy
Multi-Channel Campaign