O55: Family Troopers

Families and single parent households living near military bases

Type of Singles and Starters consisting of 1.53% of households and 1.43% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 25-30
  • Household income less than $15,000
  • 1 person household
  • Renter
  • Very high level of household technology

Key Features

  • Renters
  • Military base communities
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Parents
  • Modest educations
  • Tech-savvy


Found on and around military bases across the country, Family Troopers are young families and single-parent households with many adults currently serving in the Armed Forces. Boasting the highest concentration of Generation Yers in the nation, this segment reflects an unusual portrait of America, with some of the nation’s highest mobility rates and a mix of household types, including over half single-parent households—also one of the highest rates in the nation.

Family Troopers are a lot like other young and downscale segments. Educational achievement is below-average and incomes from Uncle Sam and the service industries around the bases are low. Few of these households can scrape together a down payment to buy one of the local homes, which typically cost less than $120,000. However, with their routine deployments to other bases and war zones, they’re generally not interested in putting down roots when they’ll be gone within a year or two anyway.

A soldier’s paycheck doesn’t allow for a cushy lifestyle. In Family Troopers, it doesn’t permit much nightlife, dining out or traveling on exotic vacations. With over 90 percent of households containing children, many devote their free time to entertaining their youngsters, taking them to zoos and theme parks, and buying them the latest toys and games. These households enjoy a lot of team sports like baseball and basketball. If they can line up a babysitter, the parents may go to a bar or movie, but white-tablecloth dining or an evening at the theater is generally out of the question. In these households, one weekend night is usually reserved for playing games or cards at home.

Family Troopers like to look sharp and shop for the latest clothing styles whenever they can. However, their thin wallets usually send them to discount department stores. They’re more likely to buy toys for their kids than for themselves—they don’t often purchase consumer gadgets or cool options for their cars. In fact, they don’t buy new cars at high rates. They do appreciate mobile technology and own smartphones and smart devices, which makes sense for a segment that could be shipped out at a moment’s notice. FaceTime and other features of recent technology hold them together.

Family Troopers like new media. They have only modest interest in magazines except for women’s and parenting titles, and aren’t partial to newspapers. They’re big fans of TV, especially sitcoms and game shows they can watch as a family. They also like radio for the variety of music it offers. However, their main form of entertainment is the internet.

The political values of Family Troopers are still being formed. They’re mostly apolitical and for the less than 30 percent who are registered to vote, they prefer to be called Democrats over Republican. They’re into the here-and-now, with little concern about saving for the future, though they’re not satisfied with their current standard of living. With their nomadic, high-stress jobs, many simply yearn for a more comfortable lifestyle.