Ranging retirees and rurban migration: Experian reveals the changing face of the UK consumer with the launch of new Mosaic

news release

Ranging retirees and rurban migration: Experian reveals the changing face of the UK consumer with the launch of new Mosaic

 Hebden Bridge, Hexham and Stanford – home of the ‘rurban’

Boomerang Borders meet Bank of Mum and Dad

London, UK, 1 April 2014 – The United Kingdom is undergoing unparalleled seismic demographic shifts according to the latest insight from Experian’s new Mosaic people classification.  An analysis of UK society over the past ten years has revealed that populations in urban centres are once more on the rise, the commuter belt is getting wider and wider and more and more of Britain’s younger population are ‘boomeranging’ back to the family home – pushed out of independent living by high rents and unaffordable house prices.

This insight is revealed as part of the launch of new Mosaic - Experian’s most comprehensive people classification to date with the UK population allocated to one of 15 summary groups and 66 detailed types. For the last 20 years, Mosaic has been used by charities and NGOs, commercial organisations such as retailers and supermarkets, and public sector organisations to help better understand and communicate with people, providing better and more relevant services.
Some of the new people groups, types and trends identified by New Mosaic include:

 “Rurban” migration and professional hubs – there has been an increase in the number people living the rural idyll and benefitting from increased hyper connectivity and improved travel infrastructure to access urban services for work and leisure, or reversing the trend and relocating to the heart of urban hubs.

  • Rurban locations tend to be in sought after villages and towns with access to transport hubs and within commute of major cities – locations include Hebdon Bridge, Hexham and Stamford
  • Rurban migration is chiefly characterised by Mosaic type Rural Vogue of which there are around 880,000 in the UK
  • Satellite Settlers also index highly in this group; these are mature households aged mostly between 45 and 65, living in pleasant three-bedroom homes often on developments that have sprung up around larger villages where expansion has occurred to meet demand. Eighty percent of Satellite Settlers own their own homes, and half of these do so without a mortgage. 

Cost of living and the impact on the family model - significant changes in circumstances now indicate a large section of the population in a position where renting or house sharing is the only option, or even returning to the family home

  • A significant increase in private renting driven partly by lifestyle choice but also partly by cost of living and the cost of a property, has changed the locations in which individuals are choosing to live.  This trend is characterised by a number of Mosaic groups including: City Prosperity, Transient Renters and Rental Hubs which includes the student population and in total comprises 16 per cent of the population.
  • Changing family models represented by groups such as Bank of Mum and Dad make up around 3 per cent of the total population, and are affluent families that support their children financially to help them either get on the property ladder or afford rent in one of the nicer areas in around one of our cities. Boomerang Boarders are highly representative of the squeezed middle, impacted by inflation and lack of salary increases. Whilst they are happy to provide a roof over their kids’ heads they are unlikely to be able to offer significant financial assistance.

Changing behaviours of retirees – retirees now form a larger and more diverse population group than ten years ago. Some 10.8 million people in the UK are over the age of 65 and the number is expected to rise by nearly 50 per cent in the next 20 years. Diversification of the retired population sees longer life expectancies and more active lifestyles.

  • Whilst there is still a shift to the coast we are also seeing clusters of retirees that want access to leisure and entertainment in less traditional retirement locations in cathedral cities and market towns such as Salisbury, Evesham and Harrogate.

The impact of technology

Mosaic now provides an up-to-date digital view of the UK population; with smartphone penetration projected to reach 75 percent in 2014 and tablet ownership up to half of the population.  UK consumers are now more technically savvy than ever before.

New Mosaic points to some interesting, and perhaps surprising trends when we look at how different segments of the population interact with digital channels. For example, far from being the preserve of the young, the findings demonstrate how tablets are increasingly popular with the groups such as Mid Range Empty Nesters - where tablet ownership is nearly 50 percent. Other key findings include:

  • Student Scene (76%) and Flying Solo (69%) are the most likely to use Facebook
  • Asian Heritage – likely to be leading the way in adopting new technology, most likely driven from young adults and teens in the household
  • Cafes and Catchments – 79% state that online reviews are important to them prior to purchasing
  • Aided Elderly – express their dislike of technology and will only upgrade when absolutely necessary 

Nigel Wilson, Managing Director, Experian Marketing Services commented “The last decade has seen significant and wide-ranging changes to the social fabric of the UK, driven by the changing macro-economic climate and the enabling impact of technology; prevalent new groups like Boomerang Boarders and Rural Vogue have changed the landscape of UK society beyond recognition. These groups didn’t exist in significant numbers before but all represent new audiences with distinct attitudes and behaviours that will influence how they interact with services and spend with brands throughout their lives. The patchwork of different groups and types presents a great opportunity for marketers - with new Mosaic, we now have the ability to help brands identify trends within their consumer base they would not otherwise have been aware of, and gives them the intelligence needed to ensure that consumer are reached with the right message at the right time – every time.”


Matthew Tubbs
Account Manager, Ruder Finn for Experian Marketing Services

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services is a global provider of integrated consumer insight, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organisations from around the world intelligently interact with today’s dynamic, empowered and hyper connected customers. By coordinating seamless interactions across all marketing channels, marketers are able to plan and execute superior brand experiences that deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximise profits.

For more information, visit www.experian.co.uk/marketingservices