Sunday, May 02, 2010

More TV Sets (2.93) Than People Per US Household (2.54); Average TV Sets Per Home Sets New Record

The average American home now has 2.93 TV sets per household, up from 2.86 sets per home in 2009, the largest year-over-year increase since 2006 according to Nielsen’s latest Television Audience Report (see chart above). In 2010, the number of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets increased to the highest percentage ever at 55% (up from 54% last year and up from 11% in 1975) and the number of households with only one TV decreased to the lowest level ever, at 17%, down from 18% last year, and down from 57% in 1975. The report also finds that the number of people per TV home has held steady at about 2.54 for the last six years, carrying on the trend of more TVs per home than people.

Other highlights:

1. Since at least 2005, there have been more TVs per household on average than people per household.

2. In 1975, there were only 1.57 TVs per household, when the average household size was 2.88.

3. Since at least 1995, more households have three TV sets than the number of households with only one TV.

4. There has been almost a complete reversal between 1975 and 2010: In 1975, 57% of American households owned only one TV set, and by 2010, 55% of households owned three TV sets.

5. Interestingly, during the "greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression," the number of American households with three TV sets increased to the highest level in U.S. history, and the number of households with only one TV set decreased to the lowest level in history.


At 5/02/2010 10:07 AM, Blogger Eric said...

I am not sure this statistics tells anything. A TV set has usefully life of over 15 years. People just accumulate the old TVs without disposing them.

At 5/02/2010 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure this statistics tells anything ... People just accumulate the old TVs without disposing them.

Following your logic, it tells us that people feel wealthy enough to purchase a new TV when the older one(s) is/are still working.

At 5/02/2010 11:22 AM, Blogger Value Added said...

Bingo, Anonymous...

At 5/02/2010 11:24 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Despite the internet, TV is still the dominant go-to for entertainment and breaking news.

We have one tv per family resident. My tv is a very rare rca with wicker side trim (circa 1980s). Yes I want a flat screen HD tv BUT I'd rather have $ invested then $ transferred by consumption -- boring but compounding.

At 5/02/2010 12:04 PM, Anonymous Titus Pullo said...

The breakdown of the American family. Instead of watching a show together, everyone is watching TV in their own rooms.

At 5/02/2010 12:51 PM, Blogger Marko said...

I think we have 4 TVs but only ever watch one. THAT is wealth! If I really needed money, I would sell the ones we never watch.

60 years ago, most people in the west only owned that many sets of clothes!

At 5/02/2010 1:35 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

157 channels and nothing on.

At 5/02/2010 4:10 PM, Blogger OA said...

A big deciding factor in adding a new set these days is the cost of the cable/satellite box. I have 4 sets, but only 2 are on a cable box. I haven't turned on the one on basic cable in literally years, after many of the useful channels disappeared from basic. Another set is a tv/pc monitor that I use as a monitor.

If they asked me how many tv's, I'm not sure what I'd say. Probably 3.

At 5/02/2010 5:47 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

It would be interesting as a historical perspective to look at radios per household over time. In the 1920-1945 period radios were quite expensive and bulky so a family might have had 1. They got smaller post wwii with he smaller tubes, (cheaper to) then go much smaller cheaper with the transitor radio, and now there to the point that the are less that $10.
TVs also are far cheaper as Mark has pointed out in prior posts, particularly if you look at hours worked needed to pay for the TV. Computers are following the same trend in 1993 I spent 5k on a system, and this year for a much more capable system it was $500. (Laptop vs desktop to boot).

At 5/02/2010 6:09 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Titus Pullo: "Instead of watching a show together, everyone is watching TV in their own rooms."

My household of two persons has four televisions, yet we watch shows together about 120 minutes a day on average. But when one wishes to work out in our home gym, the other one can remain in amore comfortable part of the house.

Multiple televisions is just a convenience. It has nothing to do with "breakdown of the family". Adults and children have pursued different interests for many decades.

At 5/02/2010 7:17 PM, Blogger Babinich said...

The question to ask yourself is why TV's are so affordable.

At 5/03/2010 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four in my household of two, as well. Some still have knobs and dials on them. Inherited, so no cost.

At 5/03/2010 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other highlights:

6). Americans and the T.V. Programs they watch are becoming dumber and dumber.

7) Adult obesity rates now exceed 25 percent in 31 states and exceed 20 percent in 49 states.

Congratulations to the U.S., for all the T.V. sets !!!!!

At 5/03/2010 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dispute the estimation of number of televisions per household unless it is directionally supported by number of televisions sold in the United States over the last ten years (less those unable to receive a digital signal) and divided by the total population of legal and illegal residents over the age of 5. Nielsen's perspective is television-centric and will err on the side of more than less.

At 5/03/2010 5:39 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Your numbers are slightly off professor - This data is for TV households only. 1.1% of households don't own any TVs at all.


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