America’s Future Living To 100, Amid Abundant Diversity

America’s Future Living To 100, Amid Abundant Diversity

By 2050, the number of people on in the U.S. living to 100 will be nearly 850,000 — 14 times what it is today, according to a new study from Nielsen.

The report looks at issues related to the baby boom and beyond, breaking down the global challenges for marketing to an aging audience. 

A Global Phenomenon

The U.S. is not alone.  During this same period, Japan’s over-65 population will double, while parts of Europe will reach a 1:1 ratio between working-age and pension-able citizens.  Even developing nations will face unprecedented mid-century surges in their elderly: India’s over-65 population will nearly triple alongside a six-fold spike in Chinese citizens celebrating their 80th birthdays.



Between 2000 and 2006, immigrants accounted for 43% of population growth in the U.S. (60% when considering first- and second-generation children).  In order to maintain its current worker-to-retiree ratio through 2050, however, the U.S. must absorb 10.8 million immigrants per year.  This is roughly equivalent to incorporating a city the size of New York every ten months — a mind-boggling feat that must be accomplished in the midst of fierce competition for immigrants by every other aging nation.


Diversity And Demographics

In Italy today, almost 60% of children have no siblings, cousins, aunts, or uncles — only parents, grandparents and, increasingly, great-grandparents.  Similar demographic shifts in the U.S., due to urbanization, baby boom retirement, and a delay in marital age, are likely to prompt a redefinition of the American family. 

As a result, brands and product categories targeting U.S. households with children are likely to experience “demographic drag” from slowed growth over the next 50 years.  Marketers may also need to shift to a more multi-cultural approach in coming years, as the number of minority households with children is projected to outnumber the white majority by as early as 2035.

View Nielsen’s report, “The Aging Globe.”

Read more about multi-cultural marketing in the U.S. in the latest issue of Nielsen’s “Consumer Insight” online newsletter.