Preppies of the USA

Although now a universal term, the concept of a ‘Preppie’ originates from a distinct youth subculture within the elite of the North Eastern United States. Strongly associated with established Ivy League colleges, the term denotes an exclusive lifestyle of youth, affluence and privilege. They are typically described as being one manifestation of the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) social group who are among the most wealthy and well-connected in America. However, within geoTribes the label of ‘preppies’ is removed from these cultural associations and refers to young adults who still live with their affluent parents. Unsurprisingly, as seen below, although not describing a culture, the distribution of the ‘Preppie’ geotribe aligns with the location of the stereotypical ‘North Eastern Preppie’.

  • National Preppie Distribution

  • A Closer Look At The North-East Preppie

Top States

When ranked by number of Preppie per 100 households, the top states are predominantly North Eastern and all rank as some of the richest in the country. Moreover, four out of the six are home to an Ivy League university: Harvard (Massachusetts), Princeton (New Jersey), Yale (Connecticut) and Dartmouth (New Hampshire) (see map below for college distribution). Historically, these colleges have been regarded as Preppie strongholds since they are considered to be the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.

1 – Maryland

2- New Jersey

3 – New Hampshire

4 – Connecticut

5 – Utah

6 – Massachusetts



Values Profile

Although culturally different from the Australian Preppie, those in the United States share similar underlying need states and psychological drivers. For example a typical USA male Preppie’s values profile (see below) shares the same universal desire for financial success, recognition and self-indulgence seen in the tribe cross-culturally. This highlights the power of the geotribes scheme as it recognizes the fact that SES and life cycle stage are the key factors which shape consumer psychology and behavior regardless of location. This makes analysis of geoTribe customer groups across different countries simple, as effective predictions can be made for potential buying behaviours and purchase drivers. 

ALSO: The American Community Survey Data Update

RDA’s American Community Survey (ACS) data has been updated to reflect the recently published 2018 results. The ACS is collected each year from a representative sample of up to 3 million Americans and includes questions regarding key demographic information such as occupation, housing, languages and race. Groups of variables include:

  • People: Age, gender, culture, marital status & education
  • Income Level: Person & household
  • Employment: Industry, occupation, journey to work, status & hours worked.

This data is now available for use within the system and if you have any queries contact the RDA Help Desk ( or +612 8923 6655)