P57: Modest Metro Means

Middle-aged singles established in inner-city rental communities

Type of Cultural Connections consisting of 0.69% of households and 0.61% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 36-45
  • Household income less than $15,000
  • 1 person household
  • Renter
  • Very high level of household technology

Key Features

  • Public transportation
  • Wrestling fans
  • Single parents
  • Rental housing
  • TV watchers
  • Opportunity seekers


Modest Metro Means is characterized by the variety of odd jobs they hold, a low education level and older housing. Only one out of ten members holds college degrees. Their incomes from low-level blue-collar and service-sector jobs are 40 percent below-average and over 90 percent live in rental units in apartment buildings, duplexes and row houses, typically nearly a century old.

However, the determined couples and single-parents who are members of this segment have carved out adequate lifestyles and they say that they’re working to improve their situations.

Their ages range mainly from 36 to 65 years old, giving the segment exceptional diversity in its consuming patterns. This segment enjoys team sports like soccer and basketball. They’re early adopters who pick up the latest consumer electronics and fashion. While there’s not a lot of money for downtown nightlife, they get in-house entertainment, with movies, music, gaming and social media.

Modest Metro Means are mostly found in a handful of major metros, and two thirds are concentrated in New York City—no wonder members subscribe to the New York Times at a very high rate. They live in a mix of high-rise apartments, low-rise buildings, and old duplexes. Few have cars, and they rely on public transit and neighborhood stores—fast food joints, mom- and-pop retailers and corner markets—to survive. Without high percentages of traditional family dynamics, this is a transient segment where the majority have lived at the same address for fewer than seven years.

As low-income consumers, the Modest Metro Means get by with modest leisure activities. If the adults go out, it’s to a dance performance. This segment isn’t big on upscale dining; they prefer fast food. TV is popular among these young singles and families, and for many, paying for premium cable channels is a cheaper alternative to buying high-priced movie tickets. However, they do have expensive taste when it comes to fashion and they don’t mind spending money to look good. No matter their age, they want to look younger and hipper. They have a strong need for status recognition and talk of advancing to the top or starting their own businesses, even though they have little in savings right now. They take an interest in financial matters, sharing information with their friends and family.

To learn about new products, Modest Metro Means tend to be receptive to TV, radio and online video and online displays. To resonate with this market, ensure your messages show variety and the “above the crowd” novelty your brand can have. Also turn up the status dial as these consumers are looking for products and services to make them appear more cutting-edge. They tend to follow the “in crowd” so position your brand as what the cool kids like.

Politically, Modest Metro Means are liberal, at least those 40 percent who are registered to vote. There’s little evidence of any Republican voters in this segment. While these voters are strong supporters of liberal social and economic ideals, they have a conservative streak as well, and they like to support their families and their communities.