M: Families in Motion

Working-class families with young children, earning moderate incomes in smaller residential communities

2.74% of households and 4.33% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 36-45
  • Household income $50,000-$74,999
  • 2 person household
  • Homeowner
  • Very high level of technology adoption

Key Features

  • Young children
  • Hectic households
  • Rural lifestyle
  • Non-environmental
  • Conservative investors
  • Outdoor leisure



The two types in Families in Motion are dominated by young families living in small towns scattered across the eastern half of the country. Most of the households contain married couples between 25 and 45 years old. Half have families with two or more children. Many of these households moved into their towns years ago to raise their children in safe surroundings and affordable homes. Today their towns are neither industrial centers nor high-tech boomtowns, but quiet communities with an employment base consisting of skilled manual workers in construction, manufacturing and the trades.

Families in Motion are found in older, working-class towns that have managed to weather the nation’s transformation to a high-tech economy. Most of the housing stock is old and home values are lower than the national average. But almost seventy percent of the members of this group are homeowners of single-family homes. In their remote settings, a disproportionate number have large lots between two and four acres—plenty of room to park their campers and pickups.

In these heartland communities, most families get by on modest educations. Seven out of ten have a high school diploma or at least some college, and about 10 percent have earned a college degree. The majority of adults work at blue-collar jobs, and while the pay may be average, these dual-income couples make enough to support outdoorsy, child-centered lifestyles.

Life in Families in Motion looks a lot like it did a half-century ago. These young families enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, including fishing and camping, as well as playing hockey, softball and a weekend trip to bowling alleys. At their homes, the adults like to gather together to play cards and games after enjoying a home-cooked meal. For vacations, they pile their kids into their trucks and head to family-friendly motels and campgrounds near to the state fair or zoo.

Families in Motion are conservative shoppers who prefer local retailers to national chains but, when they need a large selection of clothing or housewares, they’re willing to drive an hour to a discount department store like Walmart, Kmart, Dollar General and Sam’s Club. They’d hardly qualify as early tech adopters. Instead, these households are proud gearheads, and they tend to buy used cars with American nameplates like Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet and Chrysler.

With their leisure lives, these households have selective media tastes. They like to stay informed listening to radio, tuning in to stations that offer golden oldies, country and adult contemporary music. They’re average fans of TV, enjoying drama and sitcoms—through a satellite dish. They enjoy reading automotive and outdoor magazines, and are receptive to messages on the radio.

While this is conservative territory, Families in Motion are almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, though nearly half are not registered voters. They donate to relatively few causes.