Doomsday prepper statistics

Some 20% of Americans say they're preparing for the end times.

Updated

Fact checked
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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 disasters5.16%
Yes, due to political events5.36%
Yes, because of recent natural disasters10.01%
No, because I always keep survival items in case of emergency34.91%
No, because I don’t spend any money on preparation44.56%

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.

Average spent

ResponseAverage spent% of Americans
Put into savings$1,939.7712.64%
Home renovations$1,700.977.43%
Car, boat or other means of evacuation$1,397.744.18%
Medical expenses$1,003.206.29%
Donated it$758.155.88%
Insurance$563.819.13%
Self-defense classes or weapons$223.083.35%
Survival kits$105.5311.24%
Survival courses$77.821.96%
Other$115.420.62%

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.

Generation prep

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.

Methodology

Previous surveys

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Allan Givens
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Nicole Gallina
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    ChesneySeptember 23, 2018

    when was this survey done? :) The year itself will do

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoSeptember 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Chesney,

      Thanks for your inquiry and for visiting finder.

      The survey was done in October 2017.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to message us again should you have further questions.

      Regards.
      Nikki

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