Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Trend To Watch: Baby Boomer Bulge Includes More Men Than Expected

America's Aging Population: Critical New Data from the Latest Census.

"2010 Census Shows America's Getting Older and More Manly," a recent post on the Network Solutions Grow Smart Biz blog, reports some surprising statistics about the changing shape of America's aging population.

The big trend to watch is that men are starting to make up a larger portion of our elder population. Let's take a look at some of the statistics:

  • As we know, overall, the American population is still continuing to age. A significant 51.9% of all Americans over age 18 are now age 45 or older. That is just about a 10% increase from 42% in 1990. So the traditional wisdom about the "baby boomer bubble" still applies.

  • The number of senior men is increasing more quickly than the number of senior women. Now, here's a surprise. The number of men aged 65+ increased 21% since 2000. That is nearly double the 11.2% increase of women in the same age group. Among Americans aged 65 to 74, the number of women now exceeds the number of men by about 1.5 million, a drop from 1.8 million in 2000.

  • The structure of American families is changing. Now that men are living longer, the percentage of widowed American women between the ages of 65 and 74 dropped to 24% in 2010, down from 44% in 1960. And the percentage of older women living alone was 71% in 2010, down from 75% in 2000. As men continue to live longer, this is another trend that will continue.

So how can you use this data to plan your marketing to older Americans? Here are some take-aways:

  • As the American population continues to age, don't overlook the importance of selling to an older population in general

  • If you already sell to older Americans, tailor your marketing messages to both men and women. It's time to reconsider the old assumption that "elder" translates to "predominantly women."

  • Depending on your product offerings, consider marketing more aggressively to aging American men. Remember that aging baby boomer males think differently than the older men of yesteryear. Boomer men are more concerned with style, luxury, lifestyle, and other factors that were considered "young male" interests only a few years ago.

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing - A Division Of The Pohly Company


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