Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers are more likely than their heterosexual peers to increase their spending on holiday gifts in the final months of 2009 compared to last year, according to a survey conducted in November by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs.
Overall, 29% of LGBT consumers surveyed said they would increase their holiday spending, versus 26% who said they planned to spend less; the balance said they would keep spending around the same.
These numbers differ markedly from the heterosexual consumers surveyed, with 9% saying they will spend more in 2009 and 47% saying they will spend less. Forty-five percent of LGBT consumers said they will spend more on close family members, compared to 18% of heterosexual respondents.
Furthermore, 65% of heterosexual respondents said getting the best value for their dollar was their highest priority, compared to 35% of LGBT consumers.
These figures reflect the generally more optimistic view of LGBT consumers regarding their personal financial situation for the near term, with 34% expecting improvement versus 17% of heterosexual consumers.
The Harris survey did not address the underlying reasons for this greater confidence among LBGT consumers, but previous studies by other research outfits have indicated that LGBT households generally have a higher median income than the U.S. population at large. Specifically, a 2008 study by Community Marketing found that lesbian and gay households have a median household income of about $80,000 per year, compared to a median U.S. household income of $52,029.
The community marketing survey also found that LGBT consumers were significantly more likely to make purchases with major credit cards, including e-commerce purchases online.