Interested in collecting gold, but don’t want to stand out among your friends? Precious metals magazine Gold IRA Guide recently ran a survey that revealed you might have more company than you think. Using independent survey service Google Surveys, they targeted 1500 men and women from ages 18 to 65+. Respondents lived coast to coast, so the magazine could get as broad a range of replies as possible. The results? 12% of all Americans own gold, 14.7% own silver, and as predicted, middle-aged participants were more likely to own precious metals overall. Still, when the magazine applied certain filters to their data, they noticed some surprising trends among different demographics. All of this data points to significant revelations for precious metals collection in America.

“12% of all Americans own gold, 14.7% own silver”

Gold IRA Guide’s survey consisted of only one question, with four possible responses. This was “Do you own any gold or silver (coins/bars)?” Participants could then reply “I don’t own either,” “I own both gold and silver,” “I own some silver. No gold though,” and “I own some gold. No silver though.” 

With no filters applied, the most common response was “I don’t own either,” at 82.4%. However, when filters narrowed responses to just those from young adults between 18 and 24 years old, that percentage jumped to 87.6%. When filters were pushed further to only include women from that age bracket, the response rate rose to 88.4%. Neither of these are particularly surprising, as young people often lack the disposable income to invest in alternative assets such as precious metals. Also, as gold is often used to prepare for retirement, many don’t consider buying it until later in their lives.

Out of all respondents, 9.1% indicated that they owned both gold and silver. That makes this the second most popular response. This increased to 12.4% when the magazine narrowed results to participants between 45 and 54 years old. It increased yet again to 14.3% when the publication narrowed results to only men from this age bracket. As middle-aged buyers often have more disposable income and are more concerned about preparing a haven for retirement, this matches popular conceptions.

“9.1% indicated that they owned both gold and silver”

What surprised Gold IRA Guide is how asset ownership differs between men and women. For instance, 5.6% of total participants indicated that they owned silver but not gold. When the magazine applied a filter for women from 35 to 44 years old to these results, this rose to 7.8%. But, when the magazine did the same for men in this age bracket, they fell to 1.8%. This means that middle-aged women are the most likely group to own only silver.

Similarly, although just 2.9% of total participants indicated that they owned gold but not silver, this jumped to 5.1% when filtered to only include responses from 35 to 44 year old men. This was also the third most popular response among this group.

A pile of gold bars

Note that, because this survey only applies to coins and bars, domestic items like gold jewelry and silverware weren’t included. This limits the survey to just serious collectors and investors, as opposed to people who might have inherited gold or silver or only have it for special occasions.

“The results of this survey are very interesting, especially when it comes to who chooses to own silver and gold,” said Amine Rahal, CEO of Gold IRA Guide, via PRNewswire. “Also, the fact that more Americans own silver over gold is intriguing.” 

“About 1 in 10 people are investing in precious metals of some kind”

Gold IRA Guide’s survey does not offer a reason for the gender split, or America’s slight preference for silver over gold, though as with the age demographics, it might have to do with each surveyed group’s access to disposable income. Because silver is cheaper than gold, it offers an easier entry point into collecting precious metals.

Still, the metrics for precious metals ownership in the United States points to a healthy collecting community overall. Expanding the survey’s sample size, 12% of the total American population would be 39,264,000, according to the most recent census data. This points to a large number of gold collectors. Meanwhile, the silver collecting population is even higher at 48,098,400. As for those who collect both, that population rests at 29,775,200.

Overall, regardless of the specific metal, this survey reveals that about 1 in 10 people are investing in precious metals of some kind.  Join this group today by collecting silver and gold for the lowest available prices through Bullion Exchanges.

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