WHO ARE WE?
Well settled and close-knit, Heartland Communities are semirural and semiretired. These older householders are primarily homeowners, and many have paid off their mortgages. Their children have moved away, but they have no plans to leave their homes. Their hearts are with the country; they embrace the slower pace of life here but actively participate in outdoor activities and community events. Traditional and patriotic, these residents support their local businesses, always buy American, and favor domestic driving vacations over foreign plane trips.
• Rural communities or small towns are concentrated in the Midwest, from older Rustbelt cities to
the Great Plains.
• Distribution of household types is comparable to the US, primarily (but not the majority) married couples, more with no children, and a slightly higher proportion of singles (Index 112) that reflects the aging of the population.
• Residents own modest, single-family homes built before 1970.
• They own one or two vehicles; commutes are short (Index 82).
• Retirees in this market depress the average labor force participation rate to less than 60% (Index 94), but the unemployment rate is comparable to the US.
• More workers are white collar than blue collar; more skilled than unskilled.
• The rural economy of this market provides employment in the manufacturing, construction, utilities, healthcare, and agriculture industries.
• These are budget savvy consumers; they stick to brands they grew up with and know the price of goods they purchase. Buying American is important.
• Daily life is busy, but routine. Working on the weekends is not uncommon.
• Residents trust TV and newspapers more than any other media.
• Skeptical about their financial future, they stick to community banks and low-risk investments.