Conservatives and liberal spend differently, study says

red state, blue state

A new study looks at the political boundaries of online commerce. Image: mandiberg/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Folks in so-called blue states like to get out and do things. Red state residents, on the other hand, are homebodies and like to dig in. Or so concludes a politics-based report on spending by the online bill-paying site, Billeo.

Red vs. Blue

“Red,” or conservative, states spend on home improvements at about a 40 percent rate higher than their liberal “blue” counterparts, says the study. On the other hand, blue-state denizens are more prone to spend on vacations, entertainment and evenings out. They are also more prone to buy electronics and books.

Murali Subbarao, CEO of Billeo, told DailyFinance:

“Based on the numbers we saw, consumers who live in red states are homebodies — spending more money on things they can do around the house: home improvement, toys and video games to play at home. While consumers who live in blue states spend more on things that take them away from home and get them out and about, [like] travel and vacations, movies and event tickets.”


Billeo described its methodology to arrive at its conclusions:

“We looked at how much on average users spent on online bill pay and shopping purchases, which cities had the highest average bill pay and shopping annual spend, and what red and blue state users were shopping for.”

Online bill paying

As for online bill paying, the vested interest of the site, red states tend to do so more often and at a higher amount than blue states.

Subbarao said:

“There are multiple factors at play here, but the largest seems to be that consumers that live in red states may be more comfortable with online banking and bill paying, and therefore are more likely to pay bills online.”

Billeo’s inforgraphic shows that red state consumers spend an average of $7,480 apiece for online bill payments. By contrast, the average red state consumer spends $7,070. Chandler, Ariz. spends the most bills online, with $16,448 spent per user annually. By contrast, Tacoma, Wash., the largest online bill-paying city in a blue state, dishes out only $11,400 per average consumer.

The difference, though not great, supports the report’s conclusion that red staters tend to do more things from home.

Online shopping

On the other hand, denizens of the liberal states spend more shopping online. In blue states, the average consumer spends about $944 a year for online purchases. Red state consumers, on the other hand, spend $911. Again, not a huge difference. According to the report, this implies that liberals perhaps have more trust in technology and Internet security.

Subbarao said:

“Blue staters seem more comfortable shopping online for higher priced items online.”


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