Answering Machines, VCRs High on List Microwave a 'Necessity' for the Affluent

Adults in six major U.S. cities whose households bring in more than $100,000 a year believe microwave ovens and answering machines rank as the "most important life-style necessities," a survey reported today.

In the poll, 600 adults in New York, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco also picked home computers and VCRs as items they would find it hard to live without.

The study asked the affluent to distinguish between luxuries--"things they may enjoy owning but could live without"--and necessities--"things or services that have become so important they are thought to be necessities."

The survey, conducted for the Doyle Graf Raj advertising agency by The Roper Organization, showed 79% believe they can't live without a microwave, 49% without an answering machine, 42% without a home computer and 36% without a VCR.

Next on the list of necessities, the survey showed, is quality education, with 30% believing it is a must to send their children to elite colleges, and 25% wanting to send younger ones to private secondary schools.

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