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Fewer Men, More Women Riding?
How many women and men ride bikes in the United States? Pretty basic question, right? But the answer is a bit more complex, because participation in bicycling can be measured in different ways.
For years, we've relied heavily on federal data, largely focused on folks who use their bicycles for "travel" or transportation. But there are other surveys out there, too.
In our recent Women on a Roll report, we highlighted some numbers from the National Sporting Goods Association that show a rise in the number of female riders and slight decline in the number of men. Today, the Gluskin Townley Group put out a release highlighting the shift in cycling demographics reflected in both the NSGA numbers and the GTG's American Bicyclist Survey.
Read the release below — and stay tuned for more perpsectives on the varying data behind bike participation.
Fewer males and more females are participating in bicycling!
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (September 3, 2013) – The Gluskin Townley Group announced today that according to both the National Sporting Goods Association Sports Participation Study and the American Bicyclist Study, 1.2 million fewer males participated in bicycle riding while 1.3 million more females did ride a bicycle in 2012 compared to 2011. “Look at the demographics…it was inevitable that women, the new majority in America would become the driving gender in the bicycle market,” said Elliot Gluskin, managing partner of the Gluskin Townley Group in making the announcement.
“Within the overall increase of 0.4% in the number of Americans who rode a bicycle 6 or more days in 2012 compared to 2011, the number of male participants decreased by 6%, or 1.2 million fewer males compared to an increase of 8% in the number of female participants in bicycle riding, resulting in 1.3 million more females riding a bicycle in 2012,” Gluskin added.
This change in bicycle riding demographics resulted in the percent of male bicycle riding participants declining from 55% in 2011 to 51% in 2012, while female participants increased from 45% in 2011 to 49% in 2012.
“Our American Bicyclist Study research for 2013 found the same demographic impact, and Generation X, the 29 to 48 year olds now driving the U.S. bicycle market reported adult male bicycle owners dropping from 55% in 2012 to 45% in 2013, while adult female Generation X bicycle owners increased from 45% in 2012 to 55% of the cohort in 2013. This is just one small finding from the 2013 American Bicyclist Study that correlates with the National Sporting Goods participation data and leads us to believe that 2013 is a tipping point year for the U.S. bicycle market and business,” Gluskin concluded.
About the American Bicyclist Study: For the second consecutive year the ABS was conducted during the second quarter of 2013 using an electronic survey delivered to a nationally representative panel managed by one of the leading panel research companies in the U.S. The sample was balanced to geographic and demographic norms based on the 2010 U.S. Census data. A total of 1,500 completed qualified responses were received. All industry accepted research practices and standards were followed during the questionnaire design, fieldwork, and analysis of the results. The 2012 and 2013 ABS represent the only research about adult American bicyclists since 2000.
About the Gluskin Townley Group, LLC: Founded in 2004, the Gluskin Townley Group, LLC is a marketing and research consulting firm serving clients in the bicycling, fitness, outdoor, event, media, investment, and education industries. Our partners have been a quoted source on the active lifestyle consumer in major newspapers and magazines, and have been invited speakers at domestic and international conferences and tradeshows.
Photo courtesy of Momentum magazine, by Ryan Dixon