S69: Urban Legacies

Middle-aged, sophisticated singles established in modest urban settings

Type of Thrifty Habits consisting of 1.59% of households and 1.29% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 51-65
  • Household income less than $15,000
  • 1 person household
  • Renter
  • Very high level of household technology

Key Features

  • Modest budgets
  • Influenced by celebrities
  • Impulse shoppers
  • Lower value housing
  • Modest educations
  • Style on a budget


Centered in downscale neighborhoods in large and second- tier cities, Urban Legacies are older, lower-income households living in aging houses. Most of the householders are over 50 years old and either widowed or divorced. Nearly a quarter did not graduate from high school while a select fewhave gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Many get by on minimum wages from jobs as blue-collar or service sector workers. With household incomes half the national average, these Americans can only afford modest lifestyles in often old housing.

Urban Legacies are mostly found in the South and Midwest, typically in older sections of big cities that have struggled with unemployment and poverty for years. These householders own their homes, but their aging bungalows and craftsman-style houses are often in need of repair. Most of the housing stock was built before 1960, and today the structures are valued at less than a third of the national average.

With their modest budgets, the members of Urban Legacies can’t afford luxurious lifestyles. They’ll occasionally go out to a bar, club or cinema but most evenings are spent at home, where they cook or watch TV. They’re fond of the daily lottery in hopes of quick winnings. This segment makes a mixed market for sports and athletic activities. The younger members in the segment enjoy aerobic sports like football and the older members prefer hunting and fishing. Everyone seems to enjoy armchair sports; and they watch NBA basketball on their older TVs.

In the marketplace, Urban Legacies can be hard to pin down. Some love to shop while others rarely venture into malls and stores. Many care about convenience above all and prefer local stores to national chains. They also like stores that carry a wide selection, and many admit that they have a tendency to buy products on the spur of the moment. Yet most are price sensitive and end up at discount department stores like Kmart and Family Dollar. With 80 percent unmarried, many say they want to look attractive.

This urban segment makes a strong media audience. They’re fans of a range of traditional media: TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. On TV they watch early evening shows, dramas, game shows and reality shows, and their taste in music includes R&B and hip-hop. They read health and fitness and women’s magazines, and leaf through the fashion and food sections of their daily newspaper. Although they’re not hyperactive internet users, they do go online for information and reviews, and to look for better jobs.

Politically, this is one of the most heavily Democratic segments in the nation; they align themselves with the party at nearly twice the national average, but the older populace includes both social liberals and conservatives. Many residents are active in the community and are willing to volunteer for groups to better their neighborhoods. Mostly, though, they want to land a more lucrative job to improve their standard of living and upgrade their home.