Gardeners: Demographic Profile
Historically, individuals who engaged in gardening were typically older and wealthy. With a renewed focus on health and wellness, the demographics of gardeners today has changed significantly.
- According to the National Gardening Association (NGA), 35% of home gardeners in America are "older," while younger households have reached a record high of 29%.
- One industry analyst expressed that individuals under the age of 35 are invested in a "full range of gardening activities.”
- President and CEO of the NGA, Mike Metallo, has described the growth of 19-34 year old gardeners as a "food revolution."
- A survey conducted by Statistica revealed that 21% of home gardeners are middle-aged, between the ages of 30 and 49.
- There has been an increase in male gardeners between the ages of 18-35. In one year, from 2016 to 2017, the percentage of gardeners in this category increased from 23% to 27%.
- Both men and women enjoy gardening, even though the types of gardening activities they enjoy may be different, as well as the plants and vegetables they choose to plant.
- Certain areas in the country are more popular for home gardening.
- Florida and Arizona are ideal states for gardening because of the warm climate that lasts throughout the year. Floridians are able to grow most crops, including citrus fruits, throughout the year. In Arizona, it also possible to grow cucumbers, corn, carrots, and lettuce all year long.
- North Carolina is a "haven for gardening," because of its "lush landscape" and historically plentiful harvests. Gardeners in North Carolina particularly enjoy growing collard greens and sweet potatoes.
- During late spring and summer, Vermont has been described as a "gardener’s paradise." Many Vermonters enjoy gardening in the expansive countryside after being sequestered inside during bitterly cold winter months.
- California is a popular state for growing fruits such as apples, oranges, and grapes. Californians enjoy gardening in California's abundant landscape.
- Alaska offers the benefit of sunshine as long as 12 hours during certain times of the year. Leeks, celery, and sweet peas grow successfully and to immense sizes due to the persistent sun. Alaska currently holds the world record for the largest cabbage, which weighed over 125 pounds.
Household Status and Income
- According to Garden Center Magazine, five million of the six million new gardeners are millennials who rent their homes. Neilson Holdings has determined that two-thirds of millennials are renters who typically live with roommates or family members rather than on their own.
- Millennials who live in a rental in an urban area, and do not have children or pets, are buying and caring for plants at home at an increasing rate. Container gardening is extremely popular with this group.
- The highest spending on a gardening hobby was among Baby Boomers, who are born between 1946 and 1964. These individuals were also typically married with an annual income above $75,000.
In order to conduct this research, we analyzed gardening industry publications and reviewed relevant surveys and data measurement reports. We determined that the 2018 National Gardening Survey (cited in this brief) contains extensive demographic information about home gardeners, but it is not accessible for free. Several blogs and gardening magazines cited a sampling of statistics from this report, and we have included this data in the brief.