The SPECTRUM segmentations are a way of breaking down the population into groupings that share some common characteristics. These are categorized using several common demographics: income, age, family structure, location, education, race, educational attainment, etc.
Different areas have different types of people. To make matters more complicated one household can belong to multiple profiles. For example the profiles that segment for age and the profiles that deal with what kind of housing stock is in the area are not related. So you can have seniors living in new houses or in historic ones and likewise you can have young, singles living in new houses or historic ones. Some segments however are mutually exclusive; you cannot be both living in a new house and a historic one.
We have built 38 profiles that are based on defining a particular group of people based upon multiple common factors (age, family structure, housing location, income, etc.) In addition we have built single variable definitions so that you could build your own cross-tabulation in the "Find People" component of our Spectrum profiling demographic product.
First, the easy, single variable definitions, broken out by category.
Low Income Neighborhoods - 25% below regional median
Lower Middle Class Neighborhoods - 10% below regional median
Middle Class Neighborhoods - regional median
Upper Middle Class Neighborhoods - 10% above regional median
Upper Class Neighborhoods - 25% below regional median
Affluent Neighborhoods - 50% above regional median
Single, Divorced, Widowed - those with a marital status of single, divorced or widowed
Married with No Kids - those with a family structure of married but do not have kids under the age of 18 currently living with them (they may have non custodial kids or kids over the age of 18)
Married with Kids - those with a family structure of married and living with kids under the age of 18
Family Communities - those whose family structure is either Married with no children, Married with children, or Single Parents
Single Parents - those with a family structure that are unmarried but have kids under the age of 18 currently living with them (they may have a partner/boyfriend/girlfriend - but re unmarried)
Those Over 50 - those over 50 years old
Senior Communities - those over 60 years old
Retirement Communities and Seniors - those over 65 years old and including group homes for the aged
Prisons - those who are in prison
Foreign Born - those who were born abroad
Speak a Foreign Language - those who speak a foreign language as a primary language
Veterans and Military Families - those who currently serve in the armed forces or have served and are now veterans.
Those with Disabilities - those who have someone in the household with a disability (sensory, physical, mental or self-care)
New Homes - those built within the past 10 years
Modern Homes - those built 10-30 years ago
Old, Historic Homes - those prior to 1940
Neighborhoods in Decline - areas that have seen a drop in population from 2000 to 2010
Stable Neighborhoods - areas that have stayed the same from 2000 to 2010
Growth Neighborhoods - areas that have seen an increase in population from 2000 to 2010
Rural - coded by the US Census Bureau´s as rural
Small Town - rural areas that are non-farm and have a higher population density
Minor City - urban areas that have a population between 40,000-100,000
Suburban - this is the area that is outside the urban cluster but is still within the urbanized area
Urban - coded by the US Census Bureau as Urban and located in a place with a population over 100,000
Now the more complicated multi-variable definitions. These will include some but not always all of the following: income, geography, family structure, age, and a few others. These are grouped by geographic location.
Young Singles and Families - both singles and families where the head of household is under the age of 35 and they live in smaller, second tier cities
Smaller City DINKs - those who live in smaller cities and have a double income, no kids
Seniors in Minor Cities - those over 65 who live in minor cities
Young and Poor - those who are at the lowest economic rungs, are under 25, are predominantly single and are living in minor cities.
Young, Poor Families in Minor Cities - those who are at the lower economic rungs and the head of the household is under 35 and they live in a minor city. They may be a couple with or without kids or a single parent.
Older Working Class - lower middle class families where the head of household is older than 60. It is a combination of singles and couples.
Older Second Tier City Dwellers - the head of household is older than 55 and they live in a minor city and are middle class
Young Families in Smaller Cities - the head of household is younger than 35, they are a family (often with kids) and they live in a minor city. They are often middle class.
Young and Single in Smaller Cities- the head of household is younger than 35 and they live in a minor city but they are still unmarried (maybe single, maybe in a relationship)
Pensioners in 2nd Tier Cities - the head of household is older than 65 and they live in a minor city and they are on social security or a pension for financial support
Well Off Families in Smaller Cities - these upper middle income families, often with kids live in smaller cities
Rich Families from Second Tier Cities - these upper income families, often with kids live in smaller cities
Young and Hip Urbanites - these upper income singles and young families (aged up to 35) live in smaller cities
Small Town Older Couples - these lower and middle class couples (aged 65 plus) live in small towns
Working Class Rural Families - these rural families are lower and working class with a middle aged head of the family and they live in rural parts of America
Small Town Young Families - these young families (some couples, some couples with kids and some single parents) are up to aged 44 and are predominantly middle class and live in small towns
Small Town Families - these families (some couples, some couples with kids and some single parents) are aged 25-54 and are predominantly middle class and live in small towns
Rural Large Families - these middle families have lots of kids, are aged 25-54 and live in rural communities
Small Town Older Families - these couples (aged 50-69) live in small towns and are starting to become or have become empty nesters as their kids move out on their own
Wealthy Rural Families - these upper and upper middle class couples mostly have children. They are mainly between 40-55 and live in rural communities
Rural Wealthy Older Couples - these 55+ year olds are (or are becoming) empty nesters and upper or upper middle class and live in rural areas
Wealthy Small Town Families - these high income families are at the top of the income scale for small towns
Working Class Older Suburbanites - these suburbanites are lower middle class, older (aged 55+) and may be single or couples.
Single in the Suburbs - these singles (either never married or divorced) are middle class, younger (up to age 55) and are living in the suburbs
Suburban Widows - these widows (or divorcees) are all ages, middle class and are living in the suburbs
Working Class Single Suburbanites - these suburbanites are divorced, single parents or still single and are lower middle class
Middle Class Suburban Small Families - these couples with kids or single parents have only 1 or at most 2 kids, are middle aged (35-54), middle class and living in suburbia
Middle Class Suburban Families - these couples with kids or single parents are middle class and living in suburbia
Middle Class Empty Nesters - these singles and couples are middle class, over 60 and have no children living at home with them in their suburban home
Middle Class Older Suburbanites - these suburbanites are over the age of 55, singles and couples and are middle class
Middle Class Suburbanites - these singles and couples are middle class and living in the suburbs
Wealthy, Empty Nest Suburbanites - these empty nesters are over 55, are the wealthiest Americans and live comfortably in the suburbs
Suburban Seniors - these singles and couples are over 65, are empty nesters and are living in suburbia
Young Suburbanites - these singles and couples are under the age of 35, may still be single or a couple and are living in suburbia
Black Suburbanites - these suburbanites are African American, many are families with kids though some are singles
Hispanic Suburbanites - these suburbanites are Hispanic, many are families with kids though some are singles
Middle Aged Suburbanites - these singles and couples are between 35-59 and are living in suburbia
Wealthy Young Suburban Families - these 25-34 year olds are couples with kids, singles and couples without kids. They are upper and upper middle class living in the suburbs
Wealthy Middle Aged Suburbanites - these 35-54 year olds are predominantly couples with kids, though there are also some singles and couples without kids. They are upper and upper middle class living in the suburbs
Wealthy Suburban Families - these families (couples with an without kids) are upper income families living in suburbia
Young Suburban Families - these families (couples with an without kids or single parents) are headed by parents under 35, living in suburbia
55+ Middle Class City Dwellers - these older couples, empty nesters (aged 55+) are middle class and live in big cities
The Urban Fringe - this is the area between urban and suburban and the neighborhoods are ethnically mixed, well educated and affluent
Fixed Income Urbanites - these older city dwellers are aged 60+ and are living on fixed income from either Social Security or a pension
Young, Single and Poor in the City - these young people (15-34) are single or single parents, living in the city and are low income
Young and Poor in the City - these young people (15-34) are single, single parents and young couples living in the city and are low income
Urban Middle Class - these middle class singles and couples live in big cities
Young Middle Class City Dwellers - these middle class singles and couples are young (15-35) and live in big cities
Well-educated, Urban Affluent Families - these city dwellers are married with few kids, are affluent and very well educated
Older Upper Middle Class City Dwellers - these middle and upper middle class couples are older (aged 60-74) and live downtown
Urban Intelligentsia - these are young (15-34) singles and couples live around colleges, in mixed neighborhoods with students, professors, those just starting their first jobs after college.