Navigation Aids

Business Research Guides


Main Content

Consumer Behavior and Demographics

Contact: Mia Wells
Lippincott Library

Consumer Behavior Consumer Demographics

See also: Advertising and Marketing Industries and Industry Studies research guides.

Consumer Behavior

SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service). The Local Market Audience Analyst module within SRDS breaks down the American population geographically and demographically, and also includes extensive lifestyle information on the interests, hobbies, and activities popular in each geographic and demographic market.

Consumer Expenditure Survey. Created and maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the closest watch the government has on what, exactly, Americans are spending their money on each year.

New Strategist publications provide tabular American demographic and lifestyle data. For a listing of available New Strategist titles, search in Franklin, the library's catalog. Enter new strategist in the search box and select Author from the menu. Click on New Strategist Publications, Inc on the results page. As an example, some of the available titles are:

  • American buyers : demographics of shopping. Held at call number HC110.C6 A54 2010 in the Lippincott Library Reference Stacks.
  • Household spending : who spends how much on what. Held at call number HC110.C6 H68 2009 in Annenberg Library Reference.
  • American women : who they are and how they live. Held at call number HG1421 .A486 2008 in Annenberg Library Reference.
  • Who's buying by age. Held at call number HF4515.33.U6 W43 2007 in the Lippincott Library stacks.

Business and Industry. Find articles from trade journals as well as newspapers and newsletters. Click on Advanced Search, then select Consumer Behavior from the Marketing Terms menu. Select any other terms of interest, as well as criteria like Company, Industry, etc. Enter keywords of interest, if necessary, then run your search.

PROMT. Articles from trade publications, focusing on marketing and consumer research. Topics include consumer attitudes, sales and consumption, market share, etc.

Business Source Complete. Search for articles from scholarly and trade publications. Enter consumer behavior in the top search box and set the drop-down menu to SU Subject Terms. Enter other keywords of interest in the remaining box(es), e.g. banking or finance. You can narrow your search results using the terms in the lefthand menu.

PsycInfo. Database collecting articles from scholarly journals in the psychology field -- including consumer psychology and buying behavior. Search for terms like consumer behavior or consumer attitudes in the Descriptors field on the search page.

Journal of Consumer Research. Premier scholarly journal for studying consumer behavior. Provides scholarly research that describes and explains consumer behavior in empirical, theoretical, and methodological articles spanning fields such as psychology, marketing, sociology, economics, and anthropology. Available from 1974 to the present.

Mintel Oxygen.
Note: you'll need to create a free user profile to log in and out of this resource.
Research focusing on consumer markets in the US and Europe. Includes a great amount of consumer demographics information and surveys on buying behavior for each report topic. Academic. Market research reports with a US focus. Comprehensive overviews of market data, including information on consumer demographics and behavior. Our academic subscription includes reports from Kalorama, Packaged Facts, SBI and Icon Group.

Passport GMID. Market data and research, as well as consumer demographics and data tables.

Datamonitor 360 (formerly Business Insights Interactive). Find reports on consumer behavior, industry trends, market research and more. Search by keyword, or scroll over Industries to choose an industry of interest. Then, use the righthand menu of your results list to narrow by Topic to Consumer Behavior.

eMarketer Database that aggregates, filters, and organizes data on e-commerce, digital marketing and media from over 4,000 global sources. Also features eMarketer reports covering all aspects of the market with overviews, insights and analysis, as well as demographic profiles of e-commerce use based on age and gender.

Note: you'll need to create a free user profile to log in and out of this resource.
The MediaMark Reporter section of this database includes consumer demographics and buying behavior for a large amount of products. Covers the US, with some historical coverage.

WRDS (Wharton Research Data Service).
Note: Wharton username and password required to use WRDS.
Several datasets containing consumer behavior are available here, including:

  • comScore. Consumer behavior for Internet users in the US. Yearly statistics on Demographics, Sessions, and Transactions available from 2002- present.
  • DMEF Academic Data. Buying history for 100,000 + customers of major catalog and non-profit businesses, from the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation.
  • CENTRIS. National database that continuously collects household information on the choice and use of voice, video, data and electronic products and services. CENTRIS tracks over 75 communications, entertainment and technology areas on a daily basis.

Statistical Fact Book. The Direct Marketing Association's yearly guide to buying habits, costs, fulfillment, and trends. Held at call number HF 5410 S738 at the Lippincott Library Reference Desk.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index. Quantitative analysis of the causes and consequences of customer satisfaction, covering 10 economic sectors, 45 industries, 225 companies, and 200 government services.

Consumer Sentiment Reports. Survey of consumer confidence conducted by the University of Michigan. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) uses telephone surveys to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.

Pew Research Center. From their website: "The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan 'fact tank' that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues."

Consumer Demographics

United States

Statistical Abstract of the United States. Annual statistical yearbook of the United States, going back to 1878, with data taken from various Census projects.

American Time Use Survey. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects annual information on the average hours Americans spent in primary, weekend, leisure and sport activities.

American Factfinder. Easiest way to gather US Census Bureau profile data on a location in the US -- state, county, city, zip code, or street.

PolicyMap. Interactive map with US data on demographics, real estate, city crime rates, health, schools, housing affordability, employment, energy, and public investments.

Community Sourcebook America. CD-Rom with data on population, households, income, business data, families, community tapestry lifestyles, race, age, gender, consumer spending data (financial, domestic, personal and entertainment). Ask to use this resource at the Lippincott Library Reference Desk.

Census Atlas of the United States. Plotting data taken from the decennial Census over a map of the US, with data going back to the 1920s.

State and Metropolitan Data Books. Census data focusing on the demographics of state and US metro area populations.

County and City Data Books. "The most comprehensive source of information about the individual counties and cities in the US." The most recent edition is available directly from the Census, and historical editions are available from University of Virginia Library.

Places, Towns, and Townships. Population and housing data for all places in the US, regardless of size. Held at call number HA202 .A366 2007 at the Lippincott Library Reference Desk.

Bureau of Economic Analysis. The BEA is an agency of the Department of Commerce. Along with the Census Bureau and STAT-USA, BEA is part of the Department's Economics and Statistics Administration. It produces some of the most closely watched economic statistics, which provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy, and are key ingredients in critical decisions affecting monetary policy, tax and budget projections, and business investment plans. The cornerstone of BEA's statistics is the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which feature the estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) and related measures.

Survey of Consumer Finances. From the Federal Reserve Board, a triennial survey of the financial statements of households in the US, including expenditures and the use of banks.

Current Population Surveys. Publications from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, covering many variables including race and ethnicity, school enrollment, computer ownership, fertility, income and health.

US Population Projections, to 2050, from the US Census Bureau.


World Development Indicators The World Bank's principal data source on the global economy. More than 550 time series, 1960-present, on more than 200 countries and 18 country groups, covering demographic, social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental indicators.

Indicators of Market Size. Annual report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), giving market indicators for 60 countries. Available within the Business Source Complete database; search for indicators of market size, leaving the drop-down menu in its default position.

United Nations Statistical Yearbook. Economic, social and environmental statistics for over 200 countries and regions, compiled from UN agencies and other international, national and specialized organizations.

International Comparison from the World Bank. Global Purchasing Power Parity, household consumption, and expenditures per capita.

Population Reference Bureau. Analyses of complex demographic data and research, providing up-to-date population information. Includes the World Population Data Sheet and U.S. Economic and Social Trends. Since 2000.

International Data Base (IDB). US Census compilation of demographic and socioeconomic data for 227 countries and areas of the world.