Baby Boomer Basics
Members of the baby-boom generation:
- were born between born between 1946 and 1964.
- may be as many as 76 million in the U.S., comprising between one-sixth and one-fourth of the population.
- are the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated and prosperous generation.
- spent over 2 trillion dollars last year on what’s called “nonessentials.”
- hold 70 percent of the nation’s total net worth, yet only 10 percent of marketing efforts target them.
- earn an average income of $71,300 with a net worth of $236,000; the top 20 percent have a median net worth of $766,000.
- account for $1.8 trillion in spending power.
Boom, Boom Boom-ers
Like Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas sings, “Gotta’ get that Boom, Boom, Boom-er!”
Ok, we modified the last word, but truth is, marketers have woken up wide-eyed to the fact that baby boomers are definitely not snoozing. Marketers are out to get us boomers—not literally—but they want a large piece of our financial assets.
“People who are 50 and above now, aren’t what 50 and above used to be,” said Donald Seaman, VP/Director of Communication Analysis at media agency MPG. “Older folks have gotten younger.” We’ve also gotten wiser about what we want. Research shows we also want more of it than our predecessors.
Alan Wurtzel, President of Research at NBC Universal, recently undertook a research and ethnography study to dispel myths about boomers. “We did some studies that looked at the 55-64 segment and we saw a group of people who are totally different than the urban myths.”
About half of all American adults say they feel younger than their actual age, but fully 61 percent of boomers say this. In fact, the typical boomer feels nine years younger than his or her chronological age.
Some statistics note that people over 50 years old comprise 41 percent of the U. S. population—almost half. Every year about four million-plus people in the United States enter the 55-plus boomer demo.
Boomers are buying:
- 41 percent of all new cars
- 60 percent of health care
- 74 percent of prescription drugs
- 51 percent of over the counter drugs
- 80 percent of luxury vacations
“Net” Results for Boomers
The Internet is the “go-to” medium for boomers. On average, baby boomers:
- will spend an average of $7 billion online this year.
- comprise between 36 and 43 percent of all Internet users.
- are the fastest-growing group of social media users. The number four website for alpha boomers is Facebook.
- 82 percent of adults age 50+ use the Internet to research health and wellness online.
- among Internet users 50+ who are members of online communities, 58 percent log in to their online community daily or several times a day.
- as many as 70 percent of the generation’s 76 million or so members go online at least once in a while.
- among younger boomers (ages 46-55), fully half now use social networks, compared with 20 percent in 2008. That rate of growth is more rapid than for younger generations.
- alpha boomers are nearly as likely to be online (and to have a home broadband connection) as younger adults.
- the oldest boomers, alpha boomers, are notably more likely to be online than adults ages 65 and older.
- nearly two-thirds of boomers say they follow the news most or all of the time, a higher share than among younger adults.