Updated on May 17, 2024
4 min read

Statistics On Shopping Addiction

People often say that a little retail therapy can’t hurt. Most people even joke about being “addicted” to shopping because they love it.

However, a real addiction to shopping exists, and it’s often stigmatized or misunderstood because shopping is so socially accepted. A compulsivity towards it is usually trivialized.

Shopping addiction, or compulsive buying disorder (CBD), is a mental health issue that affects many people around the world. In this article, we will explore the latest statistics on shopping addiction, shedding light on its prevalence, demographic trends, and the profound impact it has on individuals and society.

Key Statistics on Shopping Addiction

Global Prevalence and Gender Disparities

The scale of shopping addiction is pretty surprising, with a significant portion of the global population affected by this disorder. Consider these statistics:

  • Approximately 5% to 8% of the worldwide population suffers from compulsive buying disorder, leading to shopping addictions
  • Women are disproportionately affected by shopping addiction, with estimates suggesting that around 80% to 90% of individuals with CBD are female
  • A study by Stanford University found that about 6% of the US population suffers from compulsive buying disorder, which is about 18 million people

Financial and Emotional Toll

Shopping addiction can have devastating financial and emotional consequences for those who struggle with it. The following statistics highlight the severity of the problem:

  • A staggering 33% of compulsive buyers have debt that exceeds $10,000 due to their compulsive buying behavior
  • Shopping addiction often co-occurs with other mental health conditions, with 84% of young adults who suffer from shopping addiction reporting a family history of mental health disorders, such as mood or anxiety disorders
  • The act of shopping itself becomes a source of emotional fulfillment for individuals with shopping addiction, providing temporary relief from stress, anxiety, or feelings of emptiness

Demographic Insights

While shopping addiction can affect individuals from all walks of life, certain demographic factors appear to play a role in its prevalence. Here are some notable trends:

  • The average age of onset for shopping addiction is in the late teens to early 20s, suggesting that younger individuals may be more susceptible to developing CBD.
  • Income levels do not necessarily prevent CBD. Lower-income individuals can still exhibit compulsive buying behavior.
  • Cultural factors, societal norms, and targeted marketing strategies that often appeal to women may contribute to the higher prevalence of shopping addiction among them.
  • Shopping addiction is most common in people between the ages of 18 and 30.
Demographic FactorPrevalence or Trend
Gender80-90% of individuals with CBD are female
Age of OnsetLate teens to early 20s
IncomeNot a significant barrier to CBD
Cultural InfluencesMay contribute to higher prevalence among women
Shopping Addiction chart

The Impact of Shopping Addiction

The consequences of shopping addiction extend far beyond the financial realm, affecting mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life. Consider these statistics:

  • 25% of Americans admit to making impulsive purchases
  • A survey of German university students found a prevalence of 6.1% among males and 6.8% among females for shopping addiction
  • A Brazilian study indicated that 12.3% of college students are at risk of developing a shopping addiction
  • Shopping addiction can lead to severe financial difficulties, including debt accumulation, financial instability, impaired financial decision-making, and compromised savings
  • The secretive nature of compulsive shopping behaviors, such as hiding credit card bills or shopping bags, can strain personal relationships and lead to conflict and distrust between partners or family members

Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions

Shopping addiction often co-exists with other mental health disorders, compounding the challenges faced by those affected. Here are some relevant statistics:

  • 84% of young adults with shopping addiction report a family history of mental health disorders, such as mood or anxiety disorders
  • Men with CBD were more likely to report being non-heterosexual and to be diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder and sexual addiction
  • In a study of hospitalized patients, 3.4% were found to have symptoms of shopping addiction

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The Road to Recovery

It’s important to note that help is available for those struggling with a shopping addiction. Most shopping addicts respond well to traditional behavioral and talk therapy, and support groups like Shopaholics Anonymous offer a 12-step program for recovery.

The lack of concrete recovery statistics highlights the need for further research and resources dedicated to understanding and treating shopping addiction. By raising awareness, destigmatizing the condition, and providing accessible treatment options, we can work towards helping individuals overcome this hidden epidemic and reclaim their lives.

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The statistics presented in this article reveal the pervasive and destructive nature of shopping addiction. From its disproportionate impact on women to its financial and emotional consequences, this hidden epidemic demands our attention and action.

As a society, we must work to break the stigma surrounding shopping addiction and provide support and resources for those affected. By promoting healthy financial habits, encouraging mindful consumption, and prioritizing emotional well-being, we can create a more supportive environment for individuals struggling with this disorder.

Recovery from shopping addiction is possible, and with increased awareness, accessible treatment options, and the support of loved ones and professionals, people can break free from the grip of compulsive buying and build a brighter future.

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Updated on May 17, 2024

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