Table 3. Ownership of and desires for 10 big-ticket consumer goods over three 16-year segments of the adult life cycle
Stage of life cycle segment Change over life cycle segment
Start End
Early life cycle
   Mean number of goods owned 1.7 3.1 +1.4
   Mean number of goods desired 4.4 5.6 +1.2
Mid life cycle
   Mean number of goods owned 2.5 3.2 +0.7
   Mean number of goods desired 4.3 5.4 +1.1
Late life cycle
   Mean number of goods owned 3.0 3.2 +0.2
   Mean number of goods desired 4.4 5.0 +0.6
Average for all three segments
   Change in mean number of goods owned +0.8
   Change in mean number of goods desired +1.0
  • Early life cycle is from ages 18-29 in 1978 to 30-44 in 1994. Mid life cycle is from ages 30-44 in 1978 to 45-59 in 1994. Late life cycle is from ages 45-59 in 1978 to 60 and over in 1994. Data are from refs. 34 and 35.