Doomsday prepper statistics
Some 20% of Americans say they're preparing for the end times.
Political unrest with North Korea and Iran, as well as hurricanes and other natural disasters, is leading many Americans to prepare for an apocalyptic doomsday through spending on survival items, home renovations, escape vehicles and more.
In the last 12 months, roughly 20% of Americans — or about 52 million people — say they spent money preparing or spent money on survival materials, according to a recent Finder survey.
How many Americans are prepared for survival?
In addition to the roughly 20% that bought survival supplies in the last year, a further 35% of American adults (89 million) say they didn’t need to hit the stores because their homes already include survival items at the ready for an emergency.
Adding up the numbers, that’s roughly 55% of American adults (141 million adults) who are prepping for the end times. Paranoid much?
|Response||% of Americans|
|Yes, because of political events as well as recent natural disasters||5.16%|
|Yes, due to political events||5.36%|
|Yes, because of recent natural disasters||10.01%|
|No, because I always keep survival items in case of emergency||34.91%|
|No, because I don’t spend any money on preparation||44.56%|
How much do our preppers spend?
Forget booby traps and escape chutes. Saving money is the No. 1 way people prepare for emergencies, with nearly 13% of Americans saying they’ve socked away some $1,940 into an emergency fund in the last 12 months.
Other big-ticket ways we’re preparing for the worst:
- Home renovations — 7.43% of Americans spent an average of $1,701 renovating or making additions to their home.
- Means of evacuation — 4.18% of Americans spent an average of $1,398 preparing ways to escape, such as buying a car or boat.
- Medical expenses — 6.29% of Americans spent an average of $1,003 toward insurance premiums, doctor visits, prescriptions, assistive devices and more.
|Response||Average spent||% of Americans|
|Put into savings||$1,939.77||12.64%|
|Car, boat or other means of evacuation||$1,397.74||4.18%|
|Self-defense classes or weapons||$223.08||3.35%|
How does preparing differ between men and women?
Men are more likely to prep for doomsday than women, with 25% of men admitting to buying survival materials in the past 12 months. Compare that to the 18% of women who admit to the same.
If we include those who’ve had their acts together by stockpiling ahead of time, the gap is about the same, with just more than 60% of men prepping for doomsday versus about 52% of women.
Who’s spending more?
While men may be preparing for more, women outspend men in almost all areas. Women put more money into savings, home renovations, means of evacuation, medical expenses, donations and insurance, while men outspend women on self-defense, survival kits and survival courses.
Who do you picture in a tinfoil hat getting ready for the end of days? Not likely a millennial, and yet millennials make up the generation most equipped for doomsday.
Some 30% of millennials say they bought items in the last 12 months in preparation for disaster. Not only that, a further 35% admit to already having those supplies on hand. Other generations outweighed by disaster preppers include Gen X (53%) and Gen Z (52%).
Which generation spends the most preparing for the worst?
Baby boomers spent the most on home renovations, shelling out an average of $6,111 getting their homes ready for the end of days. Gen X donated the most ahead of disaster at an average of $1,612. And millennials squirreled away the most into savings at an average of $2,066.
For media inquiries:
More guides on finder
Which US states are hit most often by hurricanes?
We took a stroll down hurricane alley to learn which states are the most at risk for being hit, what time of year is the most active and which violent storms cost the most.
Processing fees and campaigns: How much are Americans spending?
Finder uncovers how much Americans are spending on payment processing fees for political campaign donations, who pays the fees and which companies are benefiting the most.
Industries most at risk due to COVID-19
Finder analyzes which industries are most at risk of financial ruin due to shelter-in-place orders during the coronavirus and which might survive it.
Consumer behavior: Life insurance 2020
Find out what goes through the mind of Americans’ when they’re purchasing a life insurance policy.
New Year’s resolution statistics
A recent Finder survey reveals that 72.4 million adult Americans — or 44.2% of all Americans — think that following through on their New Year’s resolutions is well within the cards.
An estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) say they have, or are planning to, open a digital-only — or neobank — account.
An estimated 186.7 million employed Americans, or 73.5% of the population, could live off their savings for only six months before going broke. How long could you get by if you lost your job tomorrow?
Savings account statistics
Find out how well average Americans add to their savings accounts and dig into key differences by gender, generation, state and more.
Lying on an insurance application
A recent finder study reveals an estimated 35 million Americans nationwide have lied on an insurance application.
Fraud nation: The numbers behind credit card fraud
American adults are frequently finding themselves the victims of credit card fraud, a survey from finder.com has discovered. A study by Finder.com reveals an estimated 14% of American adults who hold at least one credit card — roughly 35.5 million Americans — report they’ve been on the wrong end of fraudulent transactions at least once, a decrease of 28% from last year.
Ask an Expert