31% of Americans don’t want to leave the house

January 19, 2018

When futurist Faith Popcorn coined the term, “cocooning,” in 1981, she defined it as staying home rather than risking a perceived outside danger. More than 30 years later, there’s a whole industry built upon the notion that people don’t want to leave the house.

Civic Science recently polled Americans in order “to gauge people’s desire to leave the house, and how, it’s changed, if at all.” Nearly one-third of U.S. adults responded negatively to the idea of going outside: In fact, fully 31% of respondents—mostly women— admitted that their desire to leave the house has decreased over the past six months.

In terms of age, this group is more likely to be in the Gen X or Baby Boomer generations. These may not be the target audiences of some apps and services for stay-at-homes, but maybe they should be.

What’s the reasoning behind this trend? Is it fear of the flu? Fear of the alt right? Fear of mass shootings? The ability to order out? The weather? Or just plain laziness?

According to the polling organization, “Largely, it may not just be the colder temps causing people to stay inside. It’s a real chicken and egg situation, you could say. Our access to meals, movies, and even finding that special someone is truly at our fingertips. Is this Stay-at-Home Economy driving the increase in people staying home, or is staying at home driving the increase in use of services that allow us to do so?”

There is no immediate answer, but the pollsters are planning to offer a webinar on the Stay-at-Home economy, focusing on how the retail, restaurant, and entertainment industries are adapting to the trend.

Research contact: mary@civicscience.com

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