Winter Texans Demography and Psychography

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"Winter Texan" Demographics

The average Winter Texan is 72.3 years old, is female, retired, and probably has some college education. The majority of Winter Texans are married and also retired. Winter Texans contribute over $528 million yearly to the economy in Texas.


  • The average age of a Winter Texan is 72.3 years old.


  • The average Winter Texan is 57.2% female, and 42.8% male.


  • The Winter Texan has an average income of $64,500.
  • 56.2% have an income between $30,000 to $70,000.
  • 48.4% report having an income over $60,000.
  • 12.3% report having an income over $100,000.
  • Incomes are on an upward trend.


  • Some college education has been pursued by 40.1%, with 32.8% holding a bachelor's degree or above.


  • 84.6% of Winter Texans are married.
  • The trends are showing an increasing number of widowers (12.2%), or people that consider themselves single.


  • Almost 92% are retired.
  • Over 88% have been retired for more than a year.
  • Only 6.4% report they work either full or part-time.


  • Mobile homes are owned by 50.2%, followed by 32.2% for RVs, and 5% owning a house or condo.


  • Winter Texans come from the following states: Minnesota (16.3%), Canada (14.3%), Iowa (9.7%), Wisconsin (8.8%), Illinois (7.7%), Missouri (5.7%), Michigan (6.8%) and Nebraska (3.0%).
  • Winter Texans also come from Canada (14.3%). "Of those Winter Texans from Canada, most are from Ontario (57.3%), followed by Manitoba (20.7%), Saskatchewan (8.5%) then Quebec (7.3%). "
  • 2017 was the first winter for 5.4% of the Winter Texans.
  • In 2018, the number of Winter Texans finally increased after almost ten years of decline.
  • On average, they have come for 11.3 years.
  • They stay for 133 days. They report staying from 90-180 days yearly.
  • Winter Texans state they come because of the climate (80.8%), the cost of living (70.9%), friendliness of people (60.8%), and social activities (48.1%)
  • Over 95% plan to return again.
  • While in Texas, 85.3% visit Mexico.
  • Winter Texans spend $528 million yearly. It is estimated that each household spend $9,314 while they are Winter Texans. It is of note that in the 2015-2016 season, this number was $14,800.
  • Winter Texans cite the lower cost of food, accommodations, and entertainment as incentives to stay.
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"Winter Texan" Psychographics

The typical Winter Texan is an American retiree who is married and has a lot of spare time for recreational activities. They are mostly interested in traveling to regions with warm weather, low cost of living and enough social activities to keep them entertained. Also, this group of retired Americans are prudent spenders who aim to preserve their wealth.


  • According to a 2018 survey report published by The University of Texas, Winter Texans love to save on costs when shopping. They visit affordable destinations such as flea markets. "Lower cost of living" is among the "top two reasons" why these visitors relocate from their permanent residents during winter. Another common cost-saving habit common to this group is "shopping for cheap medicine" and "undergoing low-cost dental work".
  • Some of their favorite recreational activities include "visiting historical sites", "attending festivals", and "music or jam sessions".
  • They also like to take advantage of warm weather conditions by "going to the beach". These senior citizens are mostly from the Midwestern and northern regions of the United States. During the winter months, they migrate south in search of warmer weather. The most visited destination is the Rio Grande Valley where the average weather is about 72 degrees.
  • Another important leisure activity to these Winter Texans is "visiting wildlife" or "nature refuges". This group of retirees also love to travel. Occasionally, they veer off to Mexico to purchase items before returning to Texas.
  • Generally, these Winter Texans are older people with a lot of spare time and a craving for fun and entertainment. They cherish a friendly environment where they can socialize and meet new people.


  • Most Winter Texans, who are typically retirees, are prudent spenders that only withdraw money from their savings and investments when needed. According to a recent report by Investments and Wealth Institute, rather than deep hands into their savings, these retirees prefer to rely on guaranteed sources of income like pensions and social security, as well as dividends and interests.
  • Some of their current financial goals include maintaining a "comfortable standard of living", and protecting their "current level of wealth".
  • When expenses become more than expected, the typical retired Winter Texan would likely adjust his/her budget, live within means, reduce spending or find cheaper insurance options.
  • According to a 2018 Global Atlantic study, major pain points expressed by this demographic include "not saving enough", "relying too much on Social Security", and "not paying down debt before retiring".
  • According to a United Income report on "The State of Retirees", members of this demographic are spending less time working, reading, sleeping and eating. In a typical day, this demographic of Americans who make up the bulk of Winter Texans, spend about "two hours less on these activities" than they did 40 years ago.


To provide the psychographics of Winter Texans, our research team leveraged surveys, reports, and industry publications. Through this means we were able to achieve our primary goal of identifying information on the most common activities, habits, and interests among this group of people.

Next, we attempted to find additional psychographic information on the spending, saving, and wealth management habits of these Winter Texans. In doing this, we scoured industry publications dedicated to serving this group of people. Resources such as the Winter Texan Times, Winter Texans Online, and The Winter Texan Connection were reviewed. While these dedicated platforms provided several articles, guides and general insight about Winter Texans, there was no information regarding their spending, saving and wealth management habits.

Our next strategy was to research the typical demographics of a Winter Texan. Here we hoped to triangulate a response using the demographic data identified. At this point, our research efforts indicated that this group of people primarily consists of retired white women, aged 72.3 years, who are married and permanently residents of Minnesota, Canada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Nebraska. From this demographic profile, we then searched through statistical and research platforms such as the United States Census Bureau and Pew Research. These sources usually provide information about the American people and the country's economy, as well as the social issues, values, and demographic trends that are shaping the United States. However, due to the specificity of our demographic profile, we were unable to locate information that addressed this unique group of people.

Finally, we used web analytics tools such as SimilarWeb and SpyFu to analyze the websites dedicated to Winter Texans. Here we hoped to find data points such as back-links to these sites, their audience interests, and traffic sources. We aimed to use this information to establish logical conclusions based on the data provided. However, upon entering the web addresses of these platforms, there was little or no information available to leverage. It appears that this demographic does not frequently use the internet and so there is very little web history regarding their activities online.

Since we were unable to locate specific information on retired white women, aged 72.3 years, who are married and permanently resident in Midwestern and northern regions. We decided to expand our scope and provide general insights on the wealth management, savings and spending habits common to retired American as they constitute the majority of Winter Texans.

From Part 01
  • "The average Winter Texan participating in this year’s study: • is female (57.2%), • is 72.3 years of age, • is married (84.6%), • is white (97%), • is retired (91.9%) and has been retired for more than a year (88.6%), • has at least some college (40.1%) or a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree (32.8%), • is in a 2-person household (86.8%), • has an annual household income of $64,500 with 56.2% of Winter Texans having an income between $30,000 to $70,000, and • comes from Minnesota (16.3%), Canada (14.3%), Iowa (9.7%), Wisconsin (8.8%), Illinois (7.7%), Missouri (5.7%), Michigan (6.8%) and Nebraska (3.0%). Further, Winter Texans 65 years of age and older participating in this study are, on average, more educated and have a higher household income level than their counterparts in the U.S. population in general. There are fewer Winter Texans in the 65 to 69-year-old age range than in the U.S. population in general but more in the 70-years-of-age or older age range."
  • "Knowing where Winter Texans live while in the Valley, how long they stay, why they come and what they do while in the Valley is crucial to providing for their needs so they will continue to come and significantly impact the region’s economy. This is the first winter for 5.4% of study respondents; but overall during their stay in the Rio Grande Valley, the typical Winter Texan in this study:"
  • "• has come to the Valley for 11.3 years, • stayed in the Valley for 133 days, • owns a Valley residence: ° 50.2% own a mobile home/park model ° 32.2% own an RV ° 5.0% own a house or condo"
  • "As in past years, most Winter Texans come to the Valley because of: • the climate (80.8%), • cost of living (70.9%), • friendly people (60.8%), and • the social activities (48.1%)"
  • "The most popular Valley activities for this year’s study participants include: • visiting flea markets • visiting historical sites • attending festivals • attending music or jam sessions • going to the beach • visiting wildlife/nature refuges Overwhelmingly, the Winter Texan study participants plan to return to the Valley next year (95.5%), suggesting their satisfaction with the area. They reported that poor health (59.3%) or family reasons (28.5%) would be the most likely reasons to prevent them from returning. "
  • "On average, Winter Texans visited Mexico (85.3%) for an average of 5.1 trips during their stay in the Valley. They spent an average of $104 to $151 per trip, depending on the method used for estimation. With about 56,700 Winter Texan households in the Valley, the average, direct economic impact of Winter Texans on Mexico border towns is about $32 million."
  • "On the U.S. side, Winter Texan households spent an average of approximately $6,257 on routine, monthly purchases and about $3,058 on major, one-time purchases. This represents an average expenditure in the Valley of about $9,314 per household. By multiplying this average household expenditure times the estimated 56,700 Winter Texan households in the Valley, this study estimates that Winter Texans spent about $528 million, in nominal dollars, while in the Valley in 2017-2018. "
  • "Survey Returns and Return Method A total of 744 useable questionnaires were received from respondents who were self-identified as Winter Texans. A total of 309 completed paper questionnaires were returned by mail and 115 were collected at the 2018 Travel, Health & Wellness Expo. About 393 respondents began the study online but 73 were incomplete and were omitted. Of the total 744 total responses used in this analysis, 320 were submitted online (43%), 309 (41.5%) were returned by mail (45.3%) and 115 or 15.5% were collected at the Expo as shown in Figure 1"
  • "On average, Winter Texans participating in the 2018 study were 72.3 years of age, married (84.6%), Caucasian (97%), and have been retired for more than one year (88.6). Most respondents are female (57.2%) and 56.2% have an annual household income between $30,000 and $70,000, with an average income of $64,500. "
  • "The demographic characteristics examined in this study include age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, education level, household income, and employment status. Each of these characteristics and the relevant comparisons are presented next. "
  • "The average age of Winter Texans participating in the 2018 study is 72.3 years of age, with respondents’ ages ranging from 48 to 98. Figure 2 shows the average age of Winter Texans participating in the current and past five surveys and shows that the average age had steadily increased by about 5.2%.since 2006 but seems to have leveled off with this year’s survey respondents."
  • "As Figure 7 shows, Winter Texans almost exclusively consider themselves white. The figure also shows that Winter Texans have been predominantly white over the past years of study although this year’s study sample was slightly more diverse than in any other past study"
  • "As in prior years, most Winter Texans are married as seen in Figure 8. The trends for the marital status of Winter Texans shows an increasing number who consider themselves either widowed or single. This finding is consistent with the finding that Winter Texans are increasingly older."
  • "Similar to the finding that 12.2% of Winter Texan respondents in the 2018 survey are single or widowed, 12.1% report having only one person in their household. Most Winter Texans, 86.8%, have two people in their household and 1.1% report having a three-person or more household as shown in Figure "
  • "Education Figure 11 shows that in 2018, an increasing number of Winter Texans responding to the survey attended college and fewer reported having no high school diploma. In total, 40.1% had some college and 32.8% reported having a bachelor’s or higher degree. In general, Winter Texans are more educated than their counterparts in the general U.S. population as shown in Figure 12. Only 1.5% of the over65 Winter Texans do not have a high school diploma as compared to 22.1% of the general population. On the other hand, 37.9% of the Winter Texans had some college education as compared to 22.2% of the general over-65 population. Following a similar pattern, a greater number of the Winter Texans have bachelor’s or higher degrees (33.1%) than do the general U.S. over-65 population (21.3%)"
  • "The distribution of annual household income has changed since 2006. As seen in Figure 14, fewer 2018 Winter Texans reporting nominal income levels in the low range and more in the higher income range, although the income levels are slightly lower than in the last study. About 45.6% of 2018 Winter Texans were in the $60,000 or higher income category whereas 48.4% of 2016 Winter Texans reported having a $60,000 or higher income. Overall, the trend has been significantly upward."
  • "A higher percentage of Winter Texans (78%) reported having incomes in the $30,000 to $100,000 range relative to their counterparts in the general population (44%). Proportionately, slightly more of the over-65 Winter Texans than U.S. over-65-year-olds report having a household income over $100,000 (12.3% versus 11.0%)."
  • "The majority of Winter Texans (91.9%) are retired (see Figure 16) with only 3.3% of those retiring in the past year. The percentage of ‘newer’ retirees is the highest of the reporting period since the 2008 study. A total of 6.4% of respondents indicated working full-time or part-time. The employment status of 65-and-older Winter Texans is compared to the employment status of the U.S. 65-yearolds and over population in Figure 17. The graph shows that a greater percentage of Winter Texans (93.6%) are retired or are not in the work force as compared to 84.0% of the general U.S. population of the same age group. No Winter Texans reported being unemployed whereas 1.3%of the general over-65 U.S. population reported being unemployed."
  • "The top home states/country of Winter Texans are shown in Figure 18. In 2018, most Winter Texans came from states within the U.S. although 14.3% came from Canada. Of those Winter Texans from Canada, most are from Ontario (57.3%), followed by Manitoba (20.7%), Saskatchewan (8.5%) then Quebec (7.3%). "
  • "The state with the largest share of Winter Texans is Minnesota (16.3%), followed by Iowa (9.7%), Wisconsin (8.8%) Illinois (7.7%), Missouri (5.7%), Michigan (6.8%) and Nebraska (3.0%). Respondents from all other states are grouped together into the “Other” category, which accounts for more than a quarter of this year’s total survey respondents. The proportion of Winter Texans by state appears fairly stable over time. However, in this year’s study, proprotionately more Winter Texans are from Minnesota than in any other prior survey. "
  • "Figure 19 shows that the average stay of the 2018 Winter Texans in the RGV is 133 days, the same as in most prior studies. The largest proportion of survey respondents reported staying 120 days (14.6%), 90 days (14.4%), 180 days (12.7%) and 150 days (12.3%). In all 78.7% of study respondents reported staying between three to six months as compared to 84.1% of the 2016 Winter Texans."
  • "Including the current trip, this year’s respondents indicated having come to the Valley an average of 11.3 years. As shown in Figure 20, this year’s Winter Texans had come to the Valley for slightly fewer years than Winter Texans in the last study but more years than most other past studies"
  • "The number of first-time Winter Texans to the Valley is useful in understanding whether the Valley is able to attract new Winter Texans who might supplant Winter Texans who become too old to continue their annual trek to the Valley. This year, 5.4% of study respondents indicated that this was their first time in the RGV as seen in Figure 21. This percentage is well above the percentage of first-timers since 2010. A total of 52.9% of 2018 respondents reported coming to the RGV for 10 years or less, slightly less than the 53.9% reported in 2016"
  • "While in the Valley, the housing types most often used by Winter Texans are shown in Figure 22. As in prior years, most Winter Texans own a local place of residence. A total of 50.2% of Winter Texan respondents live in their own mobile home/park model while 32.2% live in their own recreational vehicle (RV) during their stay in the Valley. A total of 90.9% of all Winter Texan respondents live in RVs or mobile homes/parks—in RVs or in mobile homes or park models. The graph also shows that while more Winter Texans have increasingly owned their RGV residence—other than an RV—in 2018, slightly fewer Winter Texans (55.2%) owned their own RGV residence (house, condo or mobile home)"
  • "As in past years, the climate, cost of living, friendly people and social activities are primary reasons that Winter Texans come to the Valley each year, as seen in Figure 23. Also important to many Winter Texans are taking a winter vacation and visiting Mexico. "
  • "This year’s survey asked respondents how frequently they participated in various listed activities while in the RGV. As Table 1 shows, the activities that almost all WinterTexans participated in at least sometimes include visiting flea markets (97.1%), a historical site (90.1%), festivals (88.4%) and musical productions or jam sessions (87.8%), going to the beach (87.1%) and going to wildlife/ nature refuges (83.9%). Exercising (79.7%), dancing (61%) and bicycling (53.1%) are other popular physical activities enjoyed by this year’s Winter Texans. Activities that Winter Texan respondents were least likely to participate in include softball (8.8%), golf (35.2%) and fishing (35.9%). "
  • "When asked, an overwhelming majority of 2018 Winter Texans (95.5%) plan to return to the Valley next year. If they could not return, however, the most likely reasons given were related to health (59.3%), family issues (28.5%), terrorism or threat of violence (20.3%) and increased costs in the Valley (17.5%) as depicted in Figure 24. Compared to Winter Texan responses after the 2010 drug cartel violence in Mexico, Winter Texans are increasingly much less concerned about terrorism or threat of violence as a reason for not returning to the Valley"
  • "The prices of food, accommodation and entertainment are generally much lower in Texas than other southern states, it is less crowded, the weather is usually wonderful (mid-seventies warm and windy but with little to no humidity in the winter) – and the people are very friendly and relaxed. They LOVE Winter Texans and advertise it everywhere with “welcome back” on billboards and store signs. There is even a “Welcome Back Winter Texans” regular newsmagazine."
  • "Another real positive for us is the proximity to Mexico, where we thoroughly enjoy the Latino culture. The Mexican people – contrary to what we read in the mass media about the drug cartels – are warm, fun loving, and God-fearing. They offer tasty food in their many restaurants, lively entertainment and colourful hand-made crafts – all at very low prices. Many Winter Texans volunteer across the border, building homes and staffing the free medical clinic in the small town just south of us – a town that we feel quite safe visiting on a regular basis."
  • "The Valley’s Winter Texan population ticked upward last season after nearly a decade of declining numbers. That’s the good news from the latest Winter Texan Survey conducted by the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley."
  • "“I would say 99 percent of our Winter Texans are here because they heard about us from somebody else,” Collier said. “Word of mouth is the number one driver of new traffic to the Rio Grande Valley. Still, we are actively working on an ambassador program to educate our residents how to get involved in other (marketing) opportunities up north and spread the message of the Rio Grande Valley and how great it is to winter here.”"
  • "The 2017-18 study estimates Winter Texans spent about $528 million in the four-county"
  • "Valley region last season. However, a troubling aspect of the latest report showed a 30.5 percent drop in individual household spending, from $14,800 in 2015-16 to $9,314 last season. "