Resources - 50+ Facts & Fiction
Many misconceptions surround the marketing viability of today's older adults.
Size of the Boomer and Senior Markets:
- 77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, which is defined as the baby boomer era (U.S. Census).
- The first baby boomer turned 65 on January 1, 2011.
- An American turns 50 every 7 seconds—that's more than 12,500 people every day (U.S. Census).
- The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent of the population in the U.S. This age group grew at a faster rate than the total population between 2000 and 2010, according to a 2010 Census brief.
- More people were 65 years and over in 2010 than in any previous census. Between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years and over increased at a faster rate (15.1%) than the total U.S population (9.7%).
- By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population (AARP).
- Baby Boomers make up 35% of the American adult population (Scarborough).
- By 2030, the 65-plus population will double to about 71.5 million, and by 2050 will grow to 86.7 million people (U.S. Census).
- In 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to be 88.5 million, more than double its projected population of 40.2 million in 2010.
Wealth of Baby Boomers and Seniors:
- The 55+ age group controls more than three-fourths of America's wealth (ICSC).
- 78 million Americans who were 50 or older as of 2001 controlled 67% of the country's wealth, or $28 trillion (U.S. Census and Federal Reserve).
- Boomers and seniors have seen a decrease in their median family net worth, however they still have a net worth 3x that younger generations (Economic Policy Institute).
- Boomers' median household income is 55% greater than post-Boomers and 61% more than pre-Boomers. They have an average annual disposable income of $24,000 (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
- The 50+ have $2.4 trillion in annual income, which accounts for 42% of all after-tax income (U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey).
- Adults 50 and older own 65% of the aggregate net worth of all U.S. households (U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey).
Spending Habits of Adults 50+:
- Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods & services (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
- In 2009, spending by the 116 million U.S. consumers age 50 and older was $2.9 trillion, up 45% in the past 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- Baby Boomers account for nearly $230 billion, or 55%, of consumer packaged goods sales (Nielsen).
- Boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis (Forrester Research).
- Americans over 55 spend 50% of all vacation dollars in America (ICSC).
- 55-64 year old outspend the average consumer in nearly every category, including: food away from home, household furnishings, entertainment, personal care, and gifts (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
- Women over 50 spend $21 Billion on clothes annually (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
- Baby boomers take great pride in the appearance of their homes as 27% have had landscaping done in the past year and they are 21% more likely than all American adults to have spent $10,000 or more on home improvement in the past year (Scarborough).
- The NAHB predicts that the aging in place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion. That's about 10% of the $214 billion home improvement industry.
- 96% of baby boomers participate in word-of-mouth or viral marketing by passing product or service information on to friends (ThirdAge and JWT Boom).
Online Habits of Adults 50+:
- One-third of the 195.3 million internet users in the U.S., adults aged 50+ represent the Web's largest constituency (Jupiter Research).
- Two-thirds of Americans 50+ buy from e-retailers online (Pew).
- In 2012, baby boomers (47-65) spend 27 hours per week online, 2 hours more per week then Millennials (16-34) at 25 hours per week (WSL/Strategic Retail).
- 89% of seniors 65+ have personal email and use it regularly (Nielsen).
- 72% of baby boomers have broadband internet in their homes (ThirdAge and JWT Boom).
- 36% of adults 50+ own a smartphone (Pew).
- 44% of smartphone owners age 50+ access the Internet or check email daily from their device (Pew).
- Adults 45+ account for 34.7% of current tablet users (comScore TabLens).
- From 2004 - 2009, the number of seniors age 65+ actively using the Internet increased more than 55% (Nielsen).
- 27.4 million people age 55 and over engaged in social networking with nearly 19 million of those people using Facebook (comScore).
- Adults 50+ spend an average of $7 billion online annually (SeniorNet).
- 72% of adults 55-63 and even 47% age 73+ shop online (Forrester).
- 41% of internet users 50-64 and 27% age 65+ say they watch videos online (Pew).
- The Internet is the most important source of information for baby boomers when they make major market purchases, such as automobiles or appliances (Zoomerang).
- 42% of all travel industry purchases happen online, and adults 50+ account for 80% of all luxury travel spending (Pew Internet and American Life Project).
- 82% of adults aged 50+ who use the Internet research health and wellness information online (Pew Internet and American Life Project).
- The top four online websites for people over 60 are Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube (AARP).
- 65% of all adult Internet users engage in social media. In 2011, baby boomers increased their usage of social media by 60% (WSL/Strategic Retail).