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American Children Taught Materialism

A comprehensive U.S. News & World Report article from 2004 revealed several surprising statistics regarding kids and consumerism. Researchers found that children, even very young ones, are significantly targeted and influenced by advertisers.:

• 26 percent of kids age 2 and under have a TV in their room.
• Advertisers spend $15 billion a year telling them what's hot.
• The average American child sees 40,000 commercials a year.
• Children recognize logos by 18 months; by 2 years of age, many ask for products by brand name.

The article also revealed that American parents do little to correct this trend; instead, they seem to be encouraging it.

• American kids get an average of 70 new toys a year.
• In 1984, children ages 4–12 spent $4.2 billion of their own pocket money. In 2004, they were estimated to spend $35 billion.
• In 2004, children were predicted to influence $670 billion worth of parental purchases—both small (which snacks to buy) and large (which SUV).

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