The Aging U.S. Marketplace

The Aging  U.S. Marketplace

FROM NIELSEN RESEARCH 1/3/10

It all begins with aging. U.S. fertility rates have fallen by 44% since the peaks of the Baby Boom and are projected to continue to fall by another 12% over the next several decades. Falling fertility, combined with rising life expectancy and the large Baby Boom generation just nearing retirement age, equates to an aging population. By 2037, nearly one in three households in the U.S. will be headed by someone over the age of 65. Aging, however, is only the most obvious impact.

The recent recession has already wiped out a decade of growth in the U.S. The number of jobs in the country is almost the same as it was in 1999, and the S&P 500 index is in almost the exact place it was in 1999. Home ownership, which rose rapidly in the 2000s, is at about the same point today due to foreclosures. The numbers of Americans who have investments in stocks and bonds has also dropped. Incomes have been flat or have fallen in constant dollars for the majority of American households. Growth will be hard to come by both now and in the coming decades—successful marketers in 2010 will factor the U.S. shifting demographic profile into the marketing mix.

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