A recent AP article talks about the variety of people that hostels attract:
"'We get a lot more variety than we did even three years ago,' Ricard said. 'People want to enjoy the hostel atmosphere — like congregating in the kitchen or hanging out in the lounge — with more luxuries.'
The new brand of hosteler is willing to pay more. In general, hostel prices increased about $6.50 to $13 per night over the past five years."
You can read the full article here.