New BMW Owner Demographics: Who Drives a BMW Anyway?
We dug into our database of vehicle owners to pull new BMW owner demographics and find out just who drives a BMW. Let’s jump right in to the demographics!
New BMW owner demographics: average income of a BMW owner
The average household income of a new BMW car or SUV buyer is $124,800 per year. To compare that to the US population, the median household income in the United States in 2020 was $67,521. Of note, that’s down from the median income in 2019, which was $69,560.
(Important note: we’re comparing two different things. For an explanation of “average” vs. “median” click here.)
There is a lot of variation of MSRP in the BMW product line, so as you can expect there is a lot of variation in the average household income. For instance, in the BMW 7-series, the 2022 BMW 750i has an MSRP starting at $103,000, up to the somewhat rare 2022 BMW Alpina B7 with a starting MSRP of $143,200. The average household income of a new BMW 7-Series buyer is $184,170.
On the other hand, the popular BMW 2022 3-Series has a starting MSRP of $41,450 for the 330i. The average household income of a new BMW 3-Series owner is $116,550.
Note that these are nationwide averages. Geography matters when comparing vehicle ownership and “average household income.” Recently, Kantar Media TGI did research on luxury car owners for the New York Times. They found the average income for a luxury car owner was about $100,000, but that average ranged from $83,891 to $155,548, by state!
Our overall data is pulled from just over 3,000 new BMW owners, with a margin of error of +/-2.5%.
BMW owner demographics: average age of a BMW owner
Who drives a BMW? Older people! Buyers of new BMWs tend to be older than the general population.
Our data shows that the median age of a new BMW owner is 56 years old, compared to 38 for the US population. The age groups break down like this:
24 years old and younger: 1%
25 to 54 years of age: 40%
55 to 64 years of age: 29%
65 years old and older: 30%
Note that this shows who the vehicle is registered to, not necessarily the primary driver of the vehicle. Our data on the age of a BMW owner is pulled from a total universe of just over 3,000 new BMW owners. This data has a margin of error of +/-2.5%.
BMW owner demographics: gender
We also looked at the gender of new BMW buyers.
New BMW owners tend to skew towards males, at least in terms of who the vehicle is registered to.
Our data shows that 64% of new BMW buyers are male, compared to 36% female. We found very little variation in the mix of male to female buyers across the different new BMW models.
Next, we wanted to drill down to a body style that tends to skew higher for female buyers, the BMW SUV (or, as BMW tries to call them, the “Sports Activity Vehicle®”). For 2020 model years this is the BMW X-Series, from the X1 up to the X7.
The male/female ratio changes only very little when we look at buyers of new BMW X-Series SUVs. These models range in price from the X1 on the low end (current MSRP $34,950 for a 2020 model) up to the top-of-the-line X7 (starting MSRP $73,900 for a 2020 model). The X7 is also the largest SUV that BMW has ever produced.
We found that buyers of new BMW SUVs are 60% male and 40% female.
BMW owners: high percentage of home ownership
Since BMW owners have a high household income and have an older average age, it’s probably not a huge surprise there’s a high incidence of home ownership.
90% of new BMW buyers own their own home. The remainder rent their home.
To compare this statistic to the US population, the percentage of Americans who own their own home ranges between 64% to 67%. That puts new BMW buyers 23 to 26 points higher for home ownership than the average American.
The median value of a new BMW owner’s home is $317,200.
BMW owner demographics: Presence of children
Who drives a BMW? New BMW buyers apparently don’t have a lot of kids at home.
The kids grew up and moved out. 75% of all new BMW buyers don’t have any children in the home, vs. 25% who do have children in the home. As with gender above, we thought we’d look at SUVs, which in general have higher ownership by families with kids. We were a little surprised that the percentages didn’t change much: 74% of new BMW SUV buyers do not have children in the household, compared to 26% who do have children in the household.
Methodology used in the demographic analysis
This data covers owners of new BMW models. The underlying data comes from the master vehicle owner database of 175+ million vehicle owners. This includes large amounts of consumer-level household data, which is linked to vehicle ownership data. This approach to market research gives us a great deal of accuracy when we pull and analyze demographic data because it eliminates survey errors from self-reported data or other types of survey “sampling errors.”
Most of the statistics cited on this analysis have a margin of error of +/-2.5% at a 95% confidence level.
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