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MATURE MARKET FACTS,
2002 - 2004

POPULATION

Mature adults, age 55-plus number 59,266,437, 21.06% of the U.S. population. Their numbers equal the entire populations of New York and California, Washington state and
the District of Columbia, or New York, California and Massachusetts combined.


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Persons age 65-plus comprise 12.4% of the population, at 34,991,753. This is equivalent to
the entire populations of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington state.

The number of mature Americans, age 65-plus, is expected to double to 70.3 million by 2030.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census, Reported October 2001

Mature women outnumber their male counterparts on a ratio of 100 to 81 for those age 55-plus. In age brackets, women age 65-74 outnumber men 100 to 82; from 75 to 84 by 100 to 69; and 100 to 49 at 85-plus. Mature men are more likely to be married and living with a spouse than women. Of age 55-64, 77% of men and just 64% of women were married. From age 65 through 84, the male married percentage drops only one percentage point to 76, compared with 46% of women. At 85-plus, 49% of men and just 12% we re married and living with a spouse.

– U.S. Census Bureau 1999 calculation, published as current September 2000.

Happy Birthday. Every day of the year, an average of 5,574 Americans celebrate their 65th birthday, a rate of more than 2.0 million persons per year. The poverty rate for persons 65-plus continues at a historically low rate of 10.2%, far lower than the poverty rate for younger generations.

– A Profile of Older Americans: 2001, U.S. Administration on Aging

• Since 1900, the percentage of Americans 65- plus has more than tripled and in numbers by 11 times. In 2000, the 65-74 age group was eight times larger than in 1900, but the 75-84 age group was 16 times larger, and the 85-plus group was 34 times larger. In 2000, persons reaching age 65 had an average life expectancy of an additional 17.9 years

– 102 years for females, and 16.3 years for males. – National Center for Health Statistics, 2001

The educational level of America's older population is increasing. Between 1970 and 2000, the percentage who had completed high school rose from 28% to 70%. At ages 55 to 64, 27% of men and 19% of women have bachelor's degrees or higher, compared with 21% and 11%, respectively, among those 65 to 84.

– U.S. Census Bureau study of the older population, published in 2000.


HEALTH & PRESCRIPTION

• The United States is on the brink of a longevity revolution. By 2030, the number of older Americans (age 65-plus) will have more than doubled to 70 million, or one in every five Americans.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

• Although the risk of disease and disability clearly increases with advancing age, poor health is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Practicing a healthy lifestyle (e.g., regular physical activity, healthy eating, and avoiding tobacco use) and use of early detection practices (e.g., screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, diabetes and its complications, and depression.) Proven, effective strategies to prevent chronic disease, disability, and death exist, but they have not been widely used. Physical activity is the key to healthy aging. Nowhere is the gap wider between what we know and what we do than in the area of physical activity. Nowhere is the potential payoff greater.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

Americans are living longer, and chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis are taking a greater toll. Life expectancy has increased dramatically, from 47 years in 1900 to nearly 77 years in 2000. Currently, almost one-third of total U.S. health care expenditures, or $300 billion each year, is for older adults (age 65+, increasing significantly when including those 55-64). More than 65% of Americans age 65 year or older have some form of cardiovascular disease, and half of all men and two-thirds of women older than age 70 have arthritis.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

Two-thirds of older adults do not yet exercise regularly. However, people of any age can reap the benefits of adopting healthy behaviors. Research has shown that being physically active reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

– American Society on Aging, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, Spyglass on Aging report, 2002 SENIOR PUBLISHERS MEDIA GROUP

• In mature adults the leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer and stroke, accounting for 60% of all deaths. Other chronic diseases also rank high as causes of death, including chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes, and pneumonia and influenza.

– National Center for Health Statistics, 2002.

About Vision and Hearing: The four main causes of visual impairment in mature adults are cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. There is effective treatment for cataracts and both glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can be treated and their progression slowed with early detection. A third of older Americans are hearing impaired, with men being affected more than women.

– National Center for Health Statistics, Health Monitor Reports, 2002.

About Nursing Homes: Less than 5% of the age 65+ population is in nursing homes. Considering from age 55+, the figure drops to 1%. The average age on admission to a nursing home is 83, up from 81 years of age in 1985.

– National Center for Health Statistics, Health Monitor Reports, 2002.

About Arthritis: In the United States, some 43 million people have arthritis (1 in every 6 people). It is the nation's leading cause of disability. Contrary to many people's belief, something can be done about arthritis.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

About Diabetes: Currently, 18.7% of persons 65+ have diabetes. The incidence rate is much higher for African-Americans (27.3%), Hispanics (29.4%), and American Indians (27.0%). Medical expenses (in 1997) attributable to diabetes in the United States exceeded $32 billion.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

More About Diabetes: Diabetes ranks second to hypertension as the condition for which the greatest number of people visit a physician, an estimated 15 million visits to health care providers each year.

– National Academy on an Aging Society, April 2000

About Alzheimer's Disease: About 1% of population at age 65 have Alzheimer's Disease, the prevalence doubles every five years thereafter. Approximately 10% of people older than 65 and 47% of those older than 85 have this disease.

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Aging for Older Adults, 2002.

Health conditions: The most frequently occurring conditions per 100 elderly (in 1996) were: arthritis, 49; hypertension, 36; hearing impairments, 30; heart disease, 27; cataracts, 17; orthopedic impairments, 18; sinusitis, 12; and diabetes, 12. In 1999, older consumers averaged $3,019 in out-of-pocket health care expenditures, an increase of more than a third since 1990. In contrast the total population averaged only $1,959.


FINANCIAL

• Mature adults, 65-plus, have multiple sources of income:

  • Social Security: 90%
  • Income from assets: 62%
  • Public and private pensions: 43%
  • Earnings: 22%

– Social Security Administration, 2001

• The poverty rate for persons 65-plus continues at a historically low rate of 10.2%, far lower than the poverty rate for younger generations in the United States. For non-Hispanic Whites the rate is 8.9%, compared with 22.3% for African- Americans and 18.8% of Hispanics.

– A Profile of Older Americans: 2001, U.S. Administration on Aging

• Eighty percent of 65-plus Americans own their homes, an ownership percentage far above the national average. Seventy-six percent of older homeowners own their homes free and clear. Average home value is $96,442. Home ownership for other age groups is: 15 to 24, 17.9%; 25-34, 45.6%; 35-44, 66.2%; 55- 64, 79.8%.

– American Housing Survey for the United States, U.S. Census Bureau, published in 2000. Plus Housing Characteristics: 2000, from U.S. Census Bureau, published October 2001.


GRANDPARENTING

Grandparents are a major consumer market. There are 69 million U.S. grandparents in 2000, a number expected to grow to 72 million by year 2005 and to 80 million by 2010.

Grandparents spend a median of $489 per year on their grandchildren, about $30 billion annually. Lower-income grandparents spend $239; middle income spend $637; and higher income, $840. Grandparents with only one grandchild spend about $500.

Grandparent spending: 74 percent buy quality clothing for their grandchildren; 60 percent buy books; and 38 percent buy toys. Grandparents buy one of every four toys sold in America each year.

The top five activities for grandparents with their grandchildren are:

  • Eating together (either in or out)
  • Watching a TV comedy
  • Staying overnight
  • Shopping for clothes
  • Engaging in exercise/sports

– Research from Age Wave Communications, and an AARP special study, both reported in 2002 on igrandparents.com

• Five and one-half percent of grandparents in the United States provide full-time care for grandchildren under 18.

– U.S. Census Bureau, study released in July 1999, accessed as currently representative in 2002.


TRAVEL

• Mature travelers took nearly 179 million trips in 1999, accounting for 31% of all domestic trips (business and leisure).

– Travel Industry Association, 2001

• Mature Travelers will travel 3+ times each year, more than any other age group. 46% travel by car; 42% travel for relaxation; 32% travel for adventure;

– Market survey by Modern Maturity, 2001

Adventure tourism is increasing among Over- 50 travelers. Older people can be found "riding elephants in India, horseback riding in Costa Rica and bungee-jumping in New Zealand."

– New York Times, 2001, and cited in the Randall Travel Marketing Report, 2002.

Travel for gambling is dominated by mature adults in the United States; the average age of the head of household is 52. Gambling travelers are more likely than other U.S. travelers to travel by air (24% vs. 18%), and trips average 4.0 nights in hotels or motels.

– Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 2001.

• The Number One U.S. population trend is the mature adult demographic group, Of lower importance are increasing affluence, rising educational levels, household variety, cultural diversity and growing influence of women.

– The Randall Travel Marketing Report, 2002


COMPUTER & TECHNOLOGY

Older Internet uses now comprise the fastest growing demographic group in the US Internet market. The Media Metrix study shows that mature users access the Internet more often, stay online for longer and visit more websites than younger users.

– Media Metrix, April 2000 (and reported by NUA)

• The number of mature adults going online in the US and UK is exploding. eMarketer and Forrester predicts that by 2003, 27% of all Americans over 55 years of age will be active Internet users. The population of mature adults online grew by one-third from 1999 to 2000 from 6.6 million to 9.1 million. Forrester reports that mature adults spend and average of 8.3 hours per week online, which is more than any other demographic group. (College students, 7.8 hours; adults, 7.7; teens 5.9 hours per week).

– eMarketer and Forrester, September 2001

• The over-50s are now the fastest growing part of the US Internet audience, growing from 19% of all Internet users in 1997 to 38% of all in 2000. This demographic group is valuable to marketers because it is more affluent than the general population, and the number of over 50s is growing steadily. Almost a third have annual incomes above $50,000 and 31 percent have liquid assets over $100,000.

– The Media Audit, August 2001.

Fifteen percent of US senior citizens (age 65- plus) have Internet access and 69% of those go online every day. The number of Internet users in this group is rising, as 51% of the 50-64-year-olds have Internet access.

– The Pew Foundation Internet and American Life Project, September 2001.

• Mature adults who access the Internet do so at the highest rate and time of usage than all other age groups. Of 1001 persons age 50-plus surveyed: 891 owned their computers, 704 accessed the Internet at least 10 hours each week (326 at more than 20 hours); 927 regularly send and receive e-mail; 770 do active research; 826 taught themselves to use the Internet; and 90.6% were age 55-plus.

– SeniorNet: Home User Research, April 2000

Fifty-two percent of age 50-plus Americans have cell phones, compared with 30% of younger age groups.

– Report by The Nando Times, which quoted an AARP study, December 2000. SENIOR PUBLISHERS MEDIA GROUP


VOTING & POLITICAL

Mature adults lead all other age groups both percentage of those registered to vote and those who do vote. In the November 2000 presidential election only 55% of the voting-age, or 60% of the citizen voting-age, population went to the polls.

  • 70.1% of the age 55 to 64 population went to the polls
  • 72.2% of those 65 to 74 voted • 66.5% of persons 75-plus cast ballots Mature adults are registered voters at the highest levels in the US population
  • 77.2% of all persons 55 to 64 • 78.8% of those 65 to 74
  • 78.0% of the age 75-plus population

In contrast, only 36.1% of 18-to-24-year-olds voted., only about half (50.7%) were registered to vote. Mature adult votes comprised 38,071,000 votes out of the total of 110,826,000 votes cast:

  • Age 55-plus votes were 4.41 times the 8,635,000 cast by persons 18 to 24
  • Age 55-plus votes were 2.34 times the 16,286,000 cast by persons 25 to 34
  • Age 55-plus votes were 1.56 times the 23,452,000 cast by persons 35 to 44
  • Age 55-plus votes were 1.63 times the 23,362,000 cast by persons 45 to 54

Mature adults also voted at far higher percentages than identified ethnic groups, including African-American, Hispanic and Asian/ Pacific Islanders. Mature adult registration and voting percentages and dominance are consistent throughout the United States.

–. Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, issued February 2002.


LIFESTYLE

Mature adults are the most active users of the Internet: 51% of 50-64 years olds have Internet access; 15% of those 65-plus, and 69% of all go online every day. Ninety-three percent of online mature adults use e-mail, plus search for information on health, hobbies, news, investment and stock market, and more.

– The Pew Foundation Internet and American Life Project, September 2001.

• Don't assume that mature adults are in nursing homes: – only 1.1 % for ages 65-74; 4.7% for 75-84; and then 18.2% for those 85-plus.

– U.S. Bureau of the Census, June 2001

Where they live. Seventy-seven and one-half percent of those 65-plus live in metropolitan areas, which means they are and can be served primarily by mature market media. Fifty-two percent of 65-plus adults lived in nine states: California (3.6 million), Florida (2.8), New York (2.4), Texas (2.1), and Pennsylvania (1.9). Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey each had well over one million.

– U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2001

Eighty percent of 65-plus Americans owned their homes, an ownership percentage far above the national average. Seventy-six percent of older homeowners own their homes free and clear. Average home value is $96,442. (Home ownership for other age groups is: 15 to 24, 17.9%; 25-34, 45.6%; 35-44, 66.2%; 55-64, 79.8%.)

– American Housing Survey for the United States, U.S. Census Bureau, published in 2000. Plus Housing Characteristics: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, published October 2001.

• Fifty-two percent of age 50-plus Americans have cell phones, compared with 30% of younger age groups.

– Report by The Nando Times, which quoted an AARP study, December 2000.

Research compiled by SPMG.


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