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Nielsen TV Households See 1.3% Increase

The total number of U.S. television households will be 112.8 million by Jan. 1, an increase of 1.3% since last year, according to Nielsen Co. data released Thursday.

Nielsen also estimates that the number of viewers ages 2 and older increased by 1%, to 286 million. These estimates, along with breakdowns by age and demographics, are effective Aug. 27, and will be used for the entire 2007-2008 television season. 

Nielsen’s national Universe Estimates (the estimate of persons living in TV households) reflect the continued migration of the baby-boom generation into older demographic groups. One of the fastest growing demographic categories was adults 55 to 64, which increased by 3.9%. In contrast, the number of young adults under the age of 50 grew by just 0.3% from last season.

With these new estimates, each household rating point will represent 1.13 million households and each rating point for persons ages two years or more will represent 2.86 million people.

As has been the case in recent years, many of the increases for local television markets in Nielsen Designated Market Area are in the South and West, attributed to population migrations. Of the 51 markets that moved up in rank, more than half are located in the Sunbelt. These changes are consistent with the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent annual population estimates, which indicate increased population growth in these areas.

These estimates, which are projected to Jan. 1, will be used in meter market samples beginning with the data of Sept. 22, and in diary samples with the publication of the October/November surveys.

During the year, New Orleans experienced 6% growth and moved up in ranking to 53rd from 54th. Other notable increases at the top of Nielsen’s DMA ranking were:

  • Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, moved up to 5th.
  • Atlanta moved up to 8th.
  • Phoenix moved up for the third year in a row, reaching 12th.
  • Charlotte, N.C., moved up to the Top 25 markets and is now 25th.
  • Palm Springs, Calif., moved up four spots to 144th.
  • Austin, Texas, experienced a 6% increase in TV households, moving up to 51st.
  • Boise, Idaho, moved up five ranks from 118th to 113th.