Skip to content

Two New Seniors’ Market Resources

If your library serves seniors, then these two new resources might prove useful:
1. The Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program – Mapping the Growth of Older America: Seniors and Boomers in the Early 21st Century , by William H. Frey (28 page PDF)
“Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data on the changing size, location, and characteristics of
America’s senior (aged 65 and over) and pre-senior (aged 55 to 64) populations reveals that:
■ The aging of the baby boom generation makes pre-seniors this decade’s fastest growing age group, expanding nearly 50 percent in size from 2000 to 2010. Poised to create a “senior tsunami” beginning in 2011, this group will be more highly educated, have more professional women, and exhibit more household diversity than previous generations entering traditional retirement age.
■ Pre-senior populations are growing rapidly everywhere, especially in economically dynamic Sun Belt areas previously known for their youth, such as Las Vegas, Austin, Atlanta, and Dallas. “Exurban” parts of these large metro areas, along with smaller metro areas like Santa Fe, NM and Boise, ID, seem to have attracted mobile boomers who wish to live near both work and natural amenities as they approach retirement age.
■ The World War II generation currently entering its senior years is growing fastest in the Intermountain West and South Atlantic states, especially suburban areas there. These high-growth areas tend to have younger, higher-income, more highly-educated senior populations. Despite their low rates of senior growth, northern states like Pennsylvania, Iowa, and North Dakota exhibit some of the nation’s highest senior population shares due to low immigration and past out-migration of their younger residents.
■ In states where senior populations will grow fastest over the next 35 years, “aging in place” rather than migration will drive this growth. In Georgia, for instance, the senior population will increase by more than 40 percent from 2010 to 2020 due to the aging of existing residents, versus less than 3 percent due to migration.
■ Projected boomer aging will cause the suburbs of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles to become considerably “older” than the cities themselves by 2040. Seniors and pre-seniors moving from cities to suburbs outnumber those moving in the opposite direction; those moving into cities are on average more highly educated, more affluent, and less likely to be married than their suburbanizing counterparts.
Today’s seniors and pre-seniors are upending traditional notions of how and where Americans spend their later years. The rise of boomer populations in suburban and Sun Belt locations will create new demand for senior-oriented housing and amenities. As older populations age in place, however—especially in the suburbs of slower-growing metropolitan areas—public policies must respond to the new stresses they will exert on health, transportation, and social-support systems.”
“This survey provides an overview of current and future geographic shifts of America’s senior and pre-senior populations, with baby boomers on the verge of entering their elderly years. Overall, it finds that emerging senior populations break with those of the past, not only in terms of their size, but in their educational profiles, their household diversity, their greater gender equality, and potential for economic inequality. These distinct social and demographic attributes will be magnified by the sheer size of the baby boom “age wave,” which will transform
state, regional, city, and suburban populations in both growing and declining parts of the country.”
2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has laucnhed a new website on “Data and Statistics on Older Americans” whose mandate is to provide statistics, data and resources to monitor the health of older Americans, and to assess our health protection goals of increasing the number of older adults who live longer, high-quality, productive, and independent lives.” It covers Key Aging Statistics and Data Sources with an Aging Focus.
It’s an understudied aspect of our user base and these resources and insights may prove very useful. Many of the stats and trends are specific to your local community.

Posted on: July 8, 2007, 9:32 am Category: Uncategorized

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.