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Nearly Half of All American Homeowners Give a Green Thumbs-Up to Home Improvements

Scarborough Study Analyzes the Local Markets and Media Consumption of Gardening Homeowners
May 07, 2012
New York, NY
Market Highlights

As spring continues to blossom, a new study from local market consumer research firm Scarborough reveals that of the nearly 164 million homeowners in the United States, nearly half (49 percent) gardened in the past 12 months.

Gardening Homeowners are 10 percent more likely than all homeowners to be Baby Boomers* and 33 percent have at least a college degree. Forty-seven percent of gardening homeowners hold full-time employment and 26 percent have an annual household income of $100K or more. Twenty-two percent of Gardening Homeowners are retired.

Where do these Gardening Homeowners live? The top local markets for adult homeowners who have gardened in the past 12 months are Seattle, WA (63 percent are homeowners who have gardened); Portland, OR (63 percent); Salt Lake City, UT (62 percent); Milwaukee, WI (58 percent) and Columbus, OH (58 percent). The local markets with the lowest penetration of gardeners among homeowners are St. Louis, MO (43 percent); Mobile, AL (40 percent); West Palm Beach, FL (40 percent); Miami, FL (38 percent) and Las Vegas, NV (37 percent). For the complete list of Gardening Homeowner local markets, see the end of this press release.

Gardening isn’t the only home improvement these adults made in the past 12 months. Thirty-one percent of Gardening Homeowners made interior paint or wallpaper improvements and 15 percent of Gardening Homeowners made carpeting or floor covering improvements in the past 12 months. Gardening Homeowners also showed their preferences for other green activities as they are 25 percent more likely than all homeowners to pay more for eco-friendly products and 25 percent more likely than all homeowners to donate money to environmental causes. Gardening Homeowners are 26 percent more likely to buy locally grown food.

Marketers looking to reach Gardening Homeowners will find them spending ample time shopping online. Thirty-seven percent of Gardening Homeowners who access the Internet spend 10 or more hours per week online and those who have made an online purchase in the past year spent, on average, $910. Gardening Homeowners are 23 percent more likely than all internet-enabled homeowners to shop for pet supplies on the internet in the past 12 months, 19 percent more likely to shop for furniture online and 16 percent more likely to shop for health and beauty items online in the past 12 months. Fifty-seven percent of online Gardening Homeowners have engaged in social networking online in the past 12 months. 

Offline, Gardening Homeowners are 11 percent more likely than all homeowners to read the home and garden pages of the newspaper and eight percent more likely to read the food and cooking section. They are eight percent more likely than all homeowners to watch documentaries on television, six percent more likely to watch local morning news, and eight percent more likely to watch reality talent shows. Twenty-seven percent of Gardening Homeowners listen to adult contemporary or news/talk/information radio.

Top Local Markets for Gardening Homeowners % of Homeowner Adults Who Garden
Seattle, WA 63%
Portland, OR 63%
Salt Lake City, UT 62%
Milwaukee, WI 58%
Columbus, OH 58%
Spokane, WA 58%
Sacramento, CA 58%
Buffalo, NY 57%
Rochester, NY 56%
Toledo, OH 56%
Minneapolis, MN 56%
San Francisco, CA 56%
Grand Rapids, MI 56%
Cincinnati, OH 55%
Syracuse, NY 54%
Denver, CO 53%
Fresno, CA 53%
Green Bay, WI 53%
Albany, NY 525
Kansas City, MO 52%
Chattanooga, TN 52%
Austin, TX 52%
Bakersfield, CA 52%
Flint, MI 52%
New Orleans, LA 52%
Pittsburgh, PA 52%
Cleveland, OH 52%
Los Angeles, CA 52%
Harrisburg, PA 51%
Tulsa, OK 51%
Providence, RI 50%
Boston, MA 50%
Knoxville, TN 50%
San Diego, CA 50%
Jacksonville, FL 50%
Hartford, CT 50%
Oklahoma City, OK 50%
Baltimore, MD 50%
San Antonio, TX 50%
Greenville, SC 49%
Detroit, MI 49%
Norfolk, VA 49%
Washington, DC 49%
Lexington, KY 48%
Louisville, KY 48%
Philadelphia, PA 48%
Richmond, VA 48%
Des Moines, IA 48%
Little Rock, AK 48%
Orlando, FL 48%
Nashville, TN 48%

Houston, TX

Honolulu, HI 48%
Greensboro, NC 48%
Chicago, IL 48%
Indianapolis, IN 48%
Roanoke, VA 47%
Albuquerque, NM 47%
Charlotte, NC 47%
Atlanta, GA 47%
New York, NY 47%
Colorado Springs, CO 46%
Raleigh, NC 46%
Harlingen, TX 46%
Memphis, TN 44%
Tampa, FL 44%
Fort Myers, FL 44%
El Paso, TX 44%
Dallas, TX 44%
Phoenix, AZ 43%
Tuscon, AZ 43%
Birmingham, AL 43%
St. Louis, MO 43%
Mobile, AL 40%
West Palm Beach, FL 40%
Miami, FL 38%
Las Vegas, NV 37%

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

Continue the dialogue with Scarborough over Twitter by reaching out to @ScarboroughInfo using hashtag #HomeImprovements and be sure to visit us on Facebook at

This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 2 2011. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

About Scarborough: 

Scarborough (, brings the local market to life like no other company. Our consumer insights reflect the shopping patterns, media usage behaviors across multiple platforms, and the lifestyle trends of American adults. Media professionals, marketers and agencies use Scarborough insights to: create a smarter, more informed marketing mix; conduct market-competitive analyses; plan event sponsorships and partnerships; geo-target prospective consumers; increase product sales, grow customer loyalty and for overall marketing strategy. Scarborough’s core offering of individual local-market studies spanning 120+ markets (including Puerto Rico). 77 local markets are MRC accredited. Other products and services include Analytics (customized research and express analysis) Sports and Hispanic insights and attitudinal data to help our clients address the why behind consumer behavior.  Scarborough surveys more than 210,000 adults annually, and studies more than 2,000 consumer categories. Scarborough has been in business for 40 years and is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. ( and The Nielsen Company (