ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

IPhone ownership top indicator of wealth in United States in 2016

13 July 2018, 12:00 | Jodi Jackson

An iPhone is the most prominent sign of wealth in the United States

New research shows that owning an iPhone is the most common sign of wealth

The USA's National Bureau of Economic Research has teamed up with the University of Chicago to reveal how our lifestyle choices shed light on our income.

Researchers Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica looked at study participants' media consumption, consumer behaviour, time use or social attitudes over a number of years, and found 69.1 per cent of people who owned an iPhone in 2016 were "predictive of having a high income".

While the actual report isn't what you would call a page turner, it does say that based on 2016 data, no other brand is as "predictive" of having a high income as the Apple iPhone is.

The research says the iPhone being correlated with high income is just a recent trend. You could tool around town in an expensive auto, wear some fancy duds, live in a giant mansion, or carry an Apple iPhone. After all, iPhones were only introduced in 2007.

For example, in 2004, buying a new vehicle and using Land O'Lakes regular butter implied you were well off, while in 1992 it was owning an automatic dishwasher and buying Grey Poupon Dijon mustard that meant you were among the elite.

"Knowing whether someone owns an iPad in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the top or bottom income quartile 67 percent of the time", they write.

The iPhone tends to be a luxury product for most.

Last year's line-up of Apple handsets started at a hefty £699 ($908), rising to £1,149 ($1,493) for the top version of the swanky iPhone X model.

However, the research also shows that owning a generic Android phone (60 percent) or using Verizon (61 percent), which was the priciest carrier for wireless service in 2016, also were reliable indicators of wealth, too. The data includes bi-annual questions and info on household income based on a face-to-face interview. The economists used a machine learning algorithm to conclude that "cultural differences", or how common brands and experiences are across groups, aren't getting larger over time.

"This take-away runs against the popular narrative of the USA becoming an increasingly divided society", the researchers wrote. By high-income, they meant being in the top quartile of income for households of that type.

Other News

Trending Now

USA seeks to reunite more young immigrants as new deadline looms
The order provided the administration with 15 days to reunite children under the age of 5 and 30 days to reunite all others. Handout/Reuters Baby and toddler high chairs are seen at the Bristow facility, in this photo provided by the U.S.

Trump blasts 'fake' NYT story on U.S. opposition to breastfeeding measure
NPR could not independently confirm that the US threatened Ecuador or any other country over this resolution. But then the United States stepped in and took the side of infant formula manufacturers.

Trump Bragged About Kim Summit to NATO Leaders
South Korea's urbanisation is one reason why more than a 1000 American service members are unaccounted for, said McKeague. U.S. negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas as previously announced by U.S.

Minnesota PGA Tour stop scheduled for July 4 week in 2019
The WGC will play in Akron, Ohio, for the final time next month as the event moves to Memphis for the WGC St. This year will be the last year of the 3M Championship as a PGA Tour Champions event beginning July 30.

Donald Trump is dismantling the West
But, several sources said, Trump instead reopened in strong terms his demand that other countries spend more immediately. Trump's next stop will be London, where he'll be meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

‘Stable genius’ Trump touches down in UK
Right-wing think tank Bow Group is holding a pro-Trump rally in Westminster to show support for the president. Mr Trump and his wife Melania landed at Stansted on Thursday as he began a two-day working visit to the UK.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, rocked many looks during Ireland visit
She went on to critique the fit - particularly cutting words, coming from a couture designer - suggesting her dress was too loose. While in Dublin on Wednesday, the couple ran into a woman who suggested to Prince Harry they get started, according to People .