Lifestyle, digital and cultural preferences of Metroculturals

Creative participation

Metroculturals are highly engaged in creative participation, ranking highest for amateur dramatics, singing in choirs and playing a musical instrument.

Not surprisingly over 50% consider themselves to be arty, far more than other segment.

Over a fifth have bought works of art for themselves.

Over a fifth have bought works of art for themselves


While Metroculturals are notable for their prosperity and city-centre living, their most defining demographic feature is level of education. Over 70% have a degree level education and a significant proportion have further post-graduate or professional qualifications.

They play hard, but they work even harder, in high-status roles in key financial and professional organisations, as well as in politics, media and the arts.

From primary research it can be noted that a significant proportion of Metroculturals are arts and museums professionals.

Over 70% have a degree

Digital habits

Metroculturals are the earliest adopters of digital and other technologies. Constantly connected via their smartphones, work-life takes precedence for many. They spend many hours online and couldn’t manage their lives without the internet. Frequent shopping online allows them to purchase goods efficiently, and price is less important than time.

Over a third watch on demand TV and use streaming – far and away the segment most given to doing so – reflecting confidence in their own, rather than curated, tastes.



Metroculturals tend to be resistant to overt advertising messages and like to be supplied with enough information and choices to make up their own minds. They are however susceptible to well-targeted, niche and interactive direct e-communications. They enjoy being seen to be well-informed and like to recommend and share their experiences with others: they are useful influencers.

They are particularly unmoved by television adverts and face-to-face communications, while local newspapers make almost no impact at all.

They are heavy media-users in particular broadsheet readers, though they prefer to access their news and commentary online: 21% read The Guardian, 16% The Times and 10% The Financial Times – the only segment to do so at all.

Culture is more than entertainment for this segment, for many it forms an important part of their identity, challenging and stimulating them intellectually and influencing the way they see the world.

80% believe that museums help them to understand their world

Over 50% consider themselves to be a creative person

Community involvement

As active people, Metroculturals are also more likely than average to volunteer, nearly a third doing so across a wide range of activities.


With 14% donating to the arts, Metroculturals are the most supportive of the arts, nearly one fifth of givers making donations over £100 (second only to Commuterland Culturebuffs in their level of gift). Donations to museums are above average at 18%, with 10% of these giving more than £100; putting them at the top of the museum-giving league. Their propensity to give to heritage though is much more in line with the population average. Notably they are the main source of major donors to the arts, with 3% giving over £1,000 annually.

They also give to a range of charities but with clear emphasis on disaster relief and overseas development. They are the segment least likely to give to animal charities but most likely to give to people begging on the street.


Nearly 1 in 5 givers make donations over £100


Metroculturals are largely to be found in cities like Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol, although the overwhelming majority are in London.


This segment is made up of many different age-groups, on average just slightly younger than the population average. Only a fifth have children at home, while nearly 50% are single.

Diversity in segment

There is a good deal of demographic diversity in this segment, especially in terms of age, family circumstance and cultural background. What they have in common is a culturally active, metropolitan lifestyle, high levels of education and high-status jobs.

Metroculturals are truly cosmopolitan, the group least likely to identify as “White English” with only 50% doing so. The segment includes above average numbers of people of all other cultural backgrounds and ethnicities; the highest number of foreign nationals and people of mixed-race and mixed cultural heritage.

They have the lowest levels of disability and mental health, though 17% report a disability or long-standing illness and 19% a mental health condition.

Best segment match

Arts Audiences Insight: Urban Arts Eclectic

Mosaic 2014: City Prosperity