SRDS LMAA: PRIZM Social and Lifestage Groups

PRIZM Social Groups | PRIZM Lifestage Groups | For More Assistance

PRIZM Social Groups

All 66 PRIZM segments are grouped into 14 broader Social Groups, as shown by the color-coded chart below. For example, at the top of both the affluence scale and density scale is Social Group U1, Urban Uptown, which includes segments Young Digerati, Money & Brains, Bohemian Mix, The Cosmopolitans and American Dreams. At the opposite extreme—with relatively low affluence and low density housing—is Social Group T4, Rustic Living, which is comprised of segments Young & Rustic, Golden Ponds, Crossroads Villagers, Old Milltowns, Back Country Folks and Bedrock America.

PRIZM Social Groups


High density population centers in major metropolitan areas

Urban (U) Social Groups have population density centiles mostly between 85 and 99. They include both the downtown areas of major cities and surrounding neighborhoods.

Households in this classification live within the classic high density neighborhoods found in the heart of America’s largest cities.While almost always anchored by the downtown central business district, these areas often extend beyond city limits and into surrounding jurisdictions to encompass most of America’s earliest suburban expansions.

Moderately dense neighborhoods surrounding the Urban or Second City core

Suburbs (S) have population density centiles between 40 and 90 and are clearly dependent on urban areas or second cities.

Unlike Second Cities, they are not the population center of their surrounding community, but rather a continuation of the density decline as you move out from the city center.

While some Suburbs may be employment centers, their lifestyles and commuting patterns will bemore tied to Urban or Second City cores.

Moderately dense population
centers of smaller cities and
larger towns

Second Cities (C) are less densely populated than urban areas with population density centiles typically between 40 and 85.

While similar to suburban population densities, Second Cities are the population center of their surrounding community. As such, many are concentrated within America’s smaller cities and larger towns.

This class also includes satellite cities or higher density suburbs encircling major metropolitan centers, typically with far greater affluence than their small city cousins.

Small town and rural areas,
as well as low density suburbs
on the exurban fringe

Town & Rural (T) Social Groups have population density centiles under 40. This Social Group includes exurbs, towns, farming communities and a wide range of other rural areas.

The town aspect of this class covers the thousands of small towns and villages scattered among the rural heartland, as well as the low-density areas far beyond the outer beltways and suburban rings of America’s major metros. Households in these exurban segments live among higher densities and are more affluent than their rural neighbors.


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PRIZM Lifestage Groups

All 66 PRIZM segments are grouped into 11 broader Lifestage Groups, as shown by the color-coded chart below. Lifestage Groups capture a combination of three variables—affluence, householder age and whether there are children living at home. For example, the three Lifestage Groups that comprise Younger Years are, for the most part, young and childless households. What differentiates Lifestage Group Y1, Midlife Success, from Lifestage Group Y2, Young Achievers, is the level of affluence each has achieved at these younger ages.

Similarly, the four groups of segments that make up Family Life are likely to have children in common, while segments categorized as Mature Years are mostly empty-nesters. The most affluent Family Life segments fall into Lifestage Group F1, AccumulatedWealth, which includes Blue Blood Estates, Country Squires and Winner’s Circle. The least affluent Family Life segments fall into Lifestage Group F4, Sustaining Families, which includes Family Thrifts, Bedrock America, Big City Blues and Low-Rise Living.

PRIZM Lifestage Groups


Predominantly under age 45, singles and couples mostly without children

Segments in Younger Years (Y) consist of mostly singles and couples who are typically under 45 years old and generally have no children in the household. Residents may be too young to have children and/or are approaching middle age and choose not to have them.

At the household level, around age 45 is the cutoff for most segments. Among these younger segments, only those explicit in their definition for lack of children or with low indices for presence of children, tend to be included in Younger Years.

Predominantly middle-aged families with children in the household

Family Life (F) is composed of segments
that are middle-aged and either defined
by presence of children in the household
or have high indices for households with
children under age 18. They may be
married couples or single parents.

At the household level, presence of
children is the primary driver for many
segments in this class. While this class
also includes segments where the
presence of children is not explicit
at the household level, in general
they do show high indices for that

Predominantly age 55 and above, empty-nest couples and mature singles

Mature Years (M) includes segments
whose residents are primarily emptynesters
or those with children in their
late teens, away at college, or rebounding
back to mom and dad’s home.

At the household level, the primary
driver is age, not necessarily the
absence of children. Segments that
are uniquely child-centered tend to be
younger and are grouped under
Family Years while those under age 45
and without children are grouped in
Younger Years—leaving the last group
of segments for the Mature Years.


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Illustrations by Scott Brooks,