Over the past year, America’s upper-income people—earning $100,000 or more per year—have been feeling more love than lower-income workers.
That’s according to a Love Index, newly crafted by diamond vendor Signet Jewelers, which tracks love in the time of pandemics. The index digests consumer surveys to identify shifts in the sentiment, and is being unveiled today with data collected from last March through January.
According to Signet, it interviews 1,000 respondents each quarter, both men and women, from 18 to 64 years of age, across various income brackets and ethnicities. They were asked questions examining “how loved they currently feel by others, how much they feel they love others, how much they love their community, and other dimensions.” Other diagnostics included—(duh, it’s Signet)—jewelry purchasing and gift-giving behavior.
And since last March, Signet discovered, high earners felt more love than low earners, who were defined as people making less than $50,000 per year. This trend emerged early in the index’s benchmark period ending June 2021, and held over the following six months. On a scale of 1 to 100—100 being the most loved and loving—the index assigned high earners a score of 61, compared to low earners’ 38.
But that doesn’t mean the good vibes are coming from, say, government tax breaks and corporate policies—and they aren’t all linked to money. Unsurprisingly, people who were married or living with their significant others also scored higher on the love index (61) versus those who were single, divorced, or widowed (33). And curiously, those with more education—post-college graduates and above—also scored higher (58) than those with high school diplomas or below (37).
In recent months, from November to January—Q4 FY22, for Signet Jewelers—those numbers fluctuated by several points here or there, but broader trends have remained unbroken. According to the data, love—romantic, platonic, and for the community—seemingly dipped to a low in December (cue jokes about the holiday season) but rebounded in January.
And while Gen Z’s age group was consistently the lowest scoring on the Love Index—possibly due to the generation’s overall disillusionment about life, sociologists might say—it has begun to rise to similar levels as millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers. However, more people across the board reported they believed the United States, as a country, was “seriously off track” rather than “going in the right direction,” which doesn’t bode well for warm fuzzies. The COVID pandemic, meanwhile, continues to be top among social factors.
But not to be forgotten is Signet Jewelers raison d’etre: According to the company, individuals experiencing their “bridal moment” are among the highest scorers—as well as Signet customers of the past three years.
Signet, which is the world’s largest diamond jeweler, owns Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared, among others. It was formerly named the Ratner Group, after the infamously misfortunate British business mogul Gerald Ratner.