I31: Hard Working Values

Established families in smaller cities and towns with solid blue-collar jobs

Type of Family Union consisting of 1.16% of households and 2.06% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 36-45
  • Household income $50,000-$74,999
  • 3 person household
  • Homeowner
  • Medium level of household technology

Key Features

  • Multi-generational households
  • Middle class comfort
  • Union workers
  • Older homes
  • Bargain hunters
  • Social media fan


Concentrated in Great Lakes towns and industrial cities, Hard Working Values resembles a blue-collar version of the American dream. Its households are mostly filled with married couples in their 40s and 50s with children—and about a fifth of the homes are shared with young adults. Their educational levels are about average, and the labor force is diversified, although the highest concentration works in well- paying blue-collar jobs. This segment also has one of the highest rates in the nation for union members. The multiple earners help maintain their older homes on large lots, andthere’s plenty of disposable income left over to support comfortable, mid-scale lifestyles.

Hard Working Values enjoy suburban family-centered lifestyles. On a Friday night, they like sitting with friends while playing cards and board games. If they go out, it’s typically to a movie, bar, or casual restaurant that serves country-style cuisine. These small-town consumers enjoy shopping at home improvement stores and online. They like the latest consumer electronics but they’re value conscious and regularly hold out for a sale before hitting a mall. They patronize discount clubs and mid-market retailers like JCPenney, Hallmark and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Although these consumers would like to gain some status recognition by owning a flashy imported car, they usually settle for a used rugged truck or minivan that’s made in the US.

Hard Working Values tend to be a middling segment when it comes to media. These folks listen to the radio each day for the weather report as well as 80s tunes and head-banging rock. They go online slightly more than the average, typically for Pinterest ideas or travel planning. They do enjoy shopping online—and visit online discount sites well above the national average. They will also rearrange their schedules to watch DVDs and TV programs; they like to watch game shows, NFL games and sitcoms as a family. When the commercials come on, they stay tuned for the newest BOGO or other incentive to buy a quality American-made product.

This lifestyle type is on an even keel and politically centered. They believe in the primacy of the family and like spending time with close friends. The issues they care about are all over the ideological map; at the ballot box, they vote Republican, Democrat or Independent. Not overly ambitious, they typically care little about striving for a promotion at work. In their towns, where so many factory jobs have disappeared in recent years, Hard Working Values are just happy to have a decent- paying job.