Demographics - Pet Parents
In the U.S., pet parents account for 67% of households. Pet parents are fairly evenly spread across age groups, an average of 1.8 pets are owned by a pet parent in the U.S., and the majority of pet parents have below $100,000 in household income. Additionally, pet ownership is fairly evenly spread across family sizes, most pet parents live in houses (owned or rented), and pet parents tend to reside in rural areas.
Demographics of Pet Parents in the U.S.
- Among people in the U.S. between the ages of 34 and under, 46.5% are pet parents.
- Among 35-54 year-olds in the U.S., 56.3% are pet parents.
- Among those 55 and older in the U.S., 46.4% are pet parents.
- Pet ownership reaches its peak around the age of 45, as approximately 63% (estimated) of pet parents in the U.S. are that age.
- An estimated 51% of 33 year-olds in the U.S. are pet parents.
- Among those around the age of 38, an estimated 55% are pet parents.
- At around 55 years old, an estimated 55% of people in the U.S. are pet parents.
- Among people around the age 65 in the U.S., approximately 48% are pet parents.
- According to the American Pet Products Association, "Millennials are now the primary pet-owning demographic" (35% of pet owners in the U.S.) compared to 32% of baby boomers."
2. Number of Pets
- On average, a pet parent in the U.S. owns 1.8 pets.
- Among dog-owning households in the U.S., the average number of dogs owned is 1.6.
- Among cat-owning households in the U.S., the average number of cats owned is 1.8.
- Among bird-owning households in the U.S., the average number of birds owned is 2.1.
3. Income Level
- Among U.S. households that own pets, 50% had $55,000+ in household income.
- According to the U.S. Pet Owners report, 36% of pet-parent households had under $50,000 in income.
- Among pet-owning households in the U.S., 34% had household income between $50,000 and $99,000.
- The percentage of pet-parent households in the U.S. with $100,000+ in income was 30%.
- Among dog-owning households in the U.S., 52% had $55,000+ in household income.
- Among cat-owning households in the U.S., 47% had $55,000+ in household income.
- Among bird-owning households in the U.S., 41% had $55,000+ in household income.
- The average U.S. household that owned a dog in 2016 had household income of $96,700.
4. Number of Family Members:
- The percentage of U.S. households with three or more family members that only own a dog is 44%.
- The percentage of U.S. households with three or more family members that only own a cat is 32%.
- Among pet parents in the U.S., 57% are married.
- Among U.S. pet parents, 42.9% are single.
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2017/2018 report, "[t]he highest rates of dog ownership (55.5%) and cat ownership (32.7%) continue to be among the largest households by size" (number not stated).
5. Housing Type
- Among U.S. homeowners, 57% are pet parents.
- Among U.S. renters, 37% are pet parents.
- Among mobile-home dwellers in the U.S., 73.8% are pet parents.
- Among people in the U.S. who live in houses (not specific whether owned or rented), 65.8% are pet parents.
- While the percentage was not stated, the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2017/2018 report stated that "[t]he lowest rates [of pet ownership] appear among those living in apartments, condos, duplexes and other multiple-family residences."
6. Geographic Location
- Per the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2017/2018 report, pet parents in the U.S. tend to live in either rural areas or urban areas that have a population count under 100,000, while the fewest pet parents live in cities (though numbers not stated).
- According to the aforementioned report, the following are the 10 states with the highest percentage of pet ownership: Wyoming (72%); West Virginia (71%) ; Nebraska (70%) ; Vermont (70%) ; Idaho (70%) ; Indiana (69%) ; Arkansas (69%) ; Mississippi (65%) ; Oklahoma (65%) ; and Colorado (65%).
- The aforementioned report also stated the 10 states with the lowest percentage of pet ownership: Rhode Island (45%) ; South Dakota (46%) ; New York (50%) ; New Jersey (47%) ; Maryland (49%) ; Illinois (49%) ; Massachusetts (49%) ; Connecticut (50%) ; Georgia (51%) ; and New Hampshire (52%).
- The dog-ownership rate is highest among households in rural areas, as 51% of rural households owned a dog, compared to 40% of households in suburban areas, and 33% of households in urban areas.
We compiled the research findings presented above primarily from a combination of pet-ownership reports and media articles. Examples of sources we consulted and utilized throughout our research were Pet Food Industry, the American Veterinary Medical Association, Numerator, and Statista. All of our research findings are specific to pet parents in the U.S. Some of our findings about age demographics are estimated because one of the sources we used was a data graph from which we had to estimate the respective data points. Lastly, some of our findings are pet-specific due to the directly applicability of such data.