American Consumers Newsletter

by Cheryl Russell, Editorial Director, New Strategist Press
January 2015

New Projections: Minority Majority in 2044

IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Hot Trends: NEW POPULATION PROJECTIONS, 2014 STATE POPULATION ESTIMATES, DECLINE IN SPENDING ON EATING OUT, NO HEALTH INSURANCE BY REGION
2. New Reference Tools: AMERICAN MARKETPLACE, AMERICAN INCOMES, AMERICAN GENERATIONS SERIES: MILLENNIALS, GENERATION X, and BOOMERS

To see Cheryl Russell’s Demo Memo blog, click here.

1. Hot Trends

New Projections: Minority Majority in 2044

Although population growth is slowing in the United States because of the baby bust, one thing hasn’t changed. Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics will become the majority of Americans within three decades. The Census Bureau’s new projections show minorities becoming the majority in 2044, only one year later than in the bureau’s previous projection series released two years ago. Here are the projections by race and Hispanic origin for 2015 and 2050…

 

Non-Hispanic White population (and share of total)

2015: 198 million (61.7%)

2050: 188 million (47.3%)

The non-Hispanic White population will peak in 2025 and then decline. The non-Hispanic White share of the population will fall below 50 percent in 2044.

 

Hispanic population (and share of total)

2015: 57 million (17.7%)

2050: 106 million (26.5%)

The new projections forecast 6 million fewer Hispanics in 2050 than the previous projection series, a consequence of slowing immigration and fewer births.

 

Black (alone or in combination) population (and share of total)

2015: 46 million (14.4%)

2050: 67 million (16.9%)

The new projections forecast 2 million fewer Blacks in 2050 than the previous projections, a consequence of fewer births.

 

Asian (alone or in combination) population (and share of total)

2015: 21 million (6.4%)

2050: 42 million (10.6%)

The new projections forecast nearly 4 million more Asians in 2050 than the previous projection series, a consequence of greater immigration.

 

Census Bureau Projects Fewer Births

The Census Bureau’s new population projections correct a major flaw in the previous set of numbers released two years ago–the failure to account for the ongoing baby bust. The new forecast incorporates the baby bust, adjusting births downward by 200,000 to 400,000 a year over the projection time period. The numbers add up. From 2015 to 2060, the bureau forecasts nearly 15 million fewer births than in the previous series. Here’s a comparison of the projections for 2015…

 

Number of births projected for 2015

New projections: 3,998,730

Old projections: 4,290,077

 

According to the new projections, the annual number of births will exceed 4 million again in 2016. But births will not surpass the 2007 record of 4,316,233 until 2044. The old projections had that record being broken in 2017.

 

Young Adults Aren’t Buying It

Young adults aren’t the consumers they once were. A Demo Memo analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data shows older Americans overtaking them as better customers in many important categories. Here is how the average spending of households headed by 25-to-34-year-olds (young adults) compares to the average spending of households headed by 65-to-74-year-olds (old folks) in 2006 and 2013…

 

Dinner at full service restaurants

2006: young adults spent 16 percent more than old folks

2013: young adults spent 22 percent less than old folks

 

Groceries

2006: young adults spent 4 percent more than old folks

2013: young adults spent 5 percent less than old folks

 

Entertainment

2006: young adults spent 9 percent more than old folks

2013: young adults spent 11 percent less than old folks

 

Women’s clothes

2006: young adults spent 18 percent more than old folks

2013: young adults spent 5 percent less than old folks

 

Personal care products

2006: young adults spent 13 percent more than old folks

2013: young adults spent 8 percent less than old folks

 

Household furnishings and equipment

2006: young adult spending was the same as old folks

2013: young adults spent 13 percent less than old folks

 

Most Young Adults Boomerang

The boomerang phenomenon is real. By age 27, most young adults have returned to their parental home for a period of time or never managed to leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In an analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, BLS researchers examined the living arrangements of a representative sample of 27-year-olds. Here is their boomerang status…

 

Never left parental home: 9.8%

Left parental home, but returned: 11.6%

Left parental home, returned, left again: 37.7%

Left parental home, never returned: 40.9%

 

By age 27, fully 90 percent of young adults had moved out of their parental home. But the 55 percent majority of those who left boomeranged, returning home for a period of time. Those most likely to return home were young adults with a bachelor’s degree (59 percent) and those whose families had the highest incomes (58 percent).

 

Unpredictable Schedules of Hourly Workers

If you’re a worker who gets paid by the hour, chances are you don’t know your work schedule more than a week in advance. That’s the finding of a Brookings Institution analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.

 

Among 26-to-32-year-olds who are paid by the hour, 41 percent do not know their work schedule more than a week in advance, creating instability for millions of workers. The percentage who must cope with such short notice exceeds the 39 percent who know their schedule at least four weeks in advance. Unpredictable work schedules, says Brookings, limit the upward mobility of low-income workers.

 

Graduate Student Debt: $60,600

Among the nation’s 4 million graduate students in 2011-12, fully 67.5 percent borrowed to pay for their undergraduate and/or graduate school expenses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Half borrowed to pay for their undergraduate program, and an even larger 57 percent were borrowing to pay for graduate school. Those who borrowed as undergraduates had accumulated an average of $27,000 in student loans, and those who borrowed for grad school had accumulated an even larger $47,700 in student loans.

 

Because many graduate students borrowed first as undergrads and then as graduate students, the 2011-12 grad students with debt had borrowed a cumulative average of $60,600.

 

The Ultimate Selfie: Your Health

Americans are ready to take their healthcare to the next level: self-monitoring. A Harris Interactive survey (Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare) finds nearly half the public to be very or extremely interested in monitoring their blood pressure (48 percent), heartbeat (47 percent), or physical activity (43 percent) via smartphone or tablet. Young adults are especially interested in these services. Here are the percentages who are very or extremely interested in tracking their physical activity (such as steps and sleep) via smartphone or tablet by generation…

 

Very-extremely interested in tracking physical activity

Millennials: 57%

Gen Xers: 45%

Boomers: 35%

Matures: 25%

 

Spending on Eating Out Falls 10%

The average household spent $2,236 on food from restaurants and carry-outs in 2013. That’s 10 percent less than in 2007 after adjusting for inflation, according to a Demo Memo analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Some age groups cut their spending more than others, however, and two age groups (under 25 and 65-plus) boosted their spending during those years…

 

Average household spending on eating out in 2013 (and % change, 2007 to 2013; in 2013$)

Under 25: $1,922 (+9%)

25 to 34: $2,317 (-14%)

35 to 44: $2,819 (-7%)

45 to 54: $2,674 (-7%)

55 to 64: $2,044 (-19%)

65-plus: $1,578 (+3%)

 

Health Insurance: Where You Live Matters

The Affordable Care Act is moving the needle: fewer Americans are without health insurance. Among 18-to-64-year-olds, the percentage who were uninsured when interviewed by the National Health Interview Survey fell from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 17.0 percent in January-June 2014. Demographically speaking, that decline is big news.

 

But the growing safety net of health insurance is not evenly distributed. In states that refused to participate in Medicaid expansion and the marketplace program, a much larger percentage of working-age adults is uninsured. By geographic region, here are the percentages of working-age adults without health insurance in January-June 2014…

 

Percent of 18-to-64-year-olds without health insurance

25.9% West South Central

21.2% South Atlantic

18.6% Mountain

17.0% Pacific

16.5% East South Central

14.4% West North Central

12.7% East North Central

12.3% Middle Atlantic

7.6% New England

 

For working-age adults, the 18-percentage-point health insurance coverage gap between the West South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and New England means where you live matters more than ever.

 

The Three Stages of Old Age

Old age has three stages: the Go-Go years, the Slow-Go years, and the No-Go years. A Census Bureau analysis of the disability status of Americans aged 65 or older, based on data from the American Community Survey, confirms this reality.

  • The Go-Go elderly are aged 65 to 74. Only 26.4 percent are disabled.
  • The Slow-Go elderly are aged 75 to 84, when a larger 45.0 percent are disabled.
  • The No-Go elderly are aged 85 or older. Fully 72.5 percent are disabled.

Among the disabled, the most common problem is difficulty walking/climbing stairs, experienced by two out of three.

 

Trouble with CPS Retirement Income Data

Do census data understate retirement income? That’s the question asked by a Center for Retirement Research report (Do Census Data Understate Retirement Income?). The answer is yes. Here’s why: the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), the nation’s official source of income data, does not count as income the money withdrawn from IRAs and 401(k)s unless it is taken as an annuity. It’s a big problem. The CPS estimates that only $18 billion was withdrawn from defined-contribution accounts (IRAs and 401(k)s) in 2012. The actual amount is closer to $220 billion, according to IRS data. That’s a lot of missing money.

 

Fortunately, the under-reporting of defined-contribution income understates the income only of high-income households because most lower- and middle-income households have no or minimal IRA/401(k) assets. “The CPS provides a reasonably good measure of income for the typical middle-income household,” concludes the report. Upper-income retirees, however, are much richer than it appears in the CPS statistics. Soon, we might know how rich they are. The Census Bureau is testing a redesign of the Current Population Survey to capture the missing money.

 

Gas Prices and Housing Values

The higher the price of gas, the lower the value of houses in the suburbs, finds a study by the Brookings Institution. Every 10 percent increase in the price of gasoline lowers average house prices by $7,800 in the outskirts of a city and raises house prices by $5,600 in the city center, report the Brookings researchers. Their findings are based on an analysis of 930,702 home sales in Clark County, Nevada, from 1976 through 2010.

 

With gas prices falling to a low not seen in years, homeowners in the suburbs may benefit, able to sell their houses for more because buyers will be less averse to a lengthy commute.

 

Who Uses Birth Control?

American women aren’t fooling around. Their use of contraception is nearly universal, according to the National Survey of Family Growth. Overall, 62 percent of women aged 15 to 44 are currently using contraception, but that figure is deceivingly low. It includes women who don’t use birth control because they aren’t having sex, and it includes women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or just had a baby.

 

In fact, only 6.9 percent of women aged 15 to 44 aren’t using contraceptives and should be using them because they’re sexually active and don’t want to become pregnant. That means fully 93.1 percent of American women have taken control of their fertility, which may explain why the fertility rate is at a record low.

 

Fastest Growing States, 2010 to 2014

Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. population as a whole grew 3.1 percent to 319 million, according to the Census Bureau’s latest state population estimates. By state, growth ranged from a high of 9.7 percent in North Dakota to a small loss in one state: West Virginia’s population fell by 0.2 percent during those years. These were the 10 fastest growing states from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014…

 

1. North Dakota, 9.7%

2. District of Columbia, 8.9%

3. Texas, 6.8%

4. Colorado, 6.1%

5. Utah, 6.1%

6. Florida, 5.5%

7. Nevada, 5.0%

8. Arizona, 5.0%

9. Washington, 4.7%

10. South Dakota, 4.5%

 

States with the Highest Domestic Migration Rates, 2013-14

According to the Census Bureau’s latest state population estimates, these are the 10 states with the highest rates of net domestic migration in the 12 months prior to July 1, 2014 (meaning more U.S. residents moved into the state than out of the state per 1,000 population)…

 

1. North Dakota

2. Nevada

3. South Carolina

4. Colorado

5. Florida

6. Arizona

7. Texas

8. Oregon

9. Delaware

10. Idaho

 

Will the decline in the price of oil topple North Dakota from its number-one position on this list? Stay tuned.

 

These are a sampling of posts published in the past few weeks in Cheryl Russell’s Demo Memo blog. Please send questions or comments to demographics@newstrategist.com.

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Distribution of the nation’s homeowners (and renters) by generation…

Millennials: 15% (43%)
Gen Xers: 21% (22%)
Boomers: 41% (25%)
Older Americans: 23% (10%)

2. MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS

Here are all new and expanded one-stop resources for understanding American consumers–vital, cost-effective information. Get the answers you need for business success in today’s competitive economy!

 

American Incomes: Demographics of Who Has Money, 10th ed.

The 10th edition of American Incomes: Demographics of Who Has Money is your map to the changing consumer landscape, exploring and explaining the economic status of Americans in the aftermath of the Great Recession. American Incomes looks at household income trends through 2013 by age, household type, race and Hispanic origin, education, region, and work status. It examines trends in the incomes of men and women by a variety of demographic characteristics. It provides data on the wealth of American households, showing the impact of the Great Recession on household assets and debt. The poverty population is also a focus of American Incomes, which includes the following chapters:

Household Incomes This chapter examines trends in household income over the past 13 years. It also presents detailed 2013 household income statistics by age of householder, race and Hispanic origin of householder, type of household, and other important demographic characteristics.

Men’s Incomes Chapter 2 examines trends in men’s incomes and provides detailed 2013 income statistics for men by a variety of demographic characteristics.

Women’s Incomes Chapter 3 examines trends in women’s incomes and provides detailed 2013 income statistics for women by a variety of demographic characteristics.

Wealth The statistics in Chapter 4, from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, provide a comprehensive portrait of the assets, debts, and net worth of American households by demographic characteristic. This chapter also examines 2007-to-2013 trends in wealth.

Poverty Chapter 5 shows how poverty has grown and reveals the demographics of those who are falling behind. 456 pages.

 

You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages on New Strategist’s web site, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF linked to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

 

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American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns, 12th ed.

Quick and easy access is the goal of the new 12th edition of The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns. Designed for convenience, The American Marketplace draws on scores of government sources to give you a population profile of the United States in one handy volume. This reference is organized into 11 chapters: attitudes, education, health, housing, income, labor force, living arrangements, population, spending, time use, and wealth.

 

The American Marketplace reveals the latest demographic trends and tells the American story. It examines changing lifestyles in rich detail, from growing racial and ethnic diversity to declining homeownership, from disappearing nuclear families to shifting patterns of household spending, from another baby bust to new attitudes toward gay marriage. New to this edition of The American Marketplace are 2013 population estimates for the nation, states, and metropolitan areas, revealing surprising patterns of growth. The Attitudes chapter has data from the 2012 General Social Survey. The Income chapter, with 2013 income statistics from the 2014 Current Population Survey, reveals the struggle to stay afloat. The Wealth chapter examines net worth in 2013 and the downward trend since the Great Recession. The American Marketplace is a reference tool that will help you cut through the clutter and track the trends. 654 pages.

 

You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages on New Strategist’s web site, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF linked to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

 

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The American Generations Series

Each of the three volumes in the new American Generations Series provides an in-depth look at the demographic and lifestyle data needed for an understanding of each generation, how it is changing, and what to expect in the future.

 

The Millennials: Americans Born 1977 to 1994

The all new sixth edition of The Millennials is two books in one: it provides a demographic and socioeconomic profile of the Millennial generation, which spanned the ages of 20 to 37 in 2014, and it includes a special supplement on the iGeneration–the population under age 20. In these difficult economic times, perhaps no generation is more important to businesses than Millennials. For those who track generational change, the special supplement on the iGeneration will give you a preview of what is to come. 564 pages.

 

You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages on New Strategist’s web site, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF with links to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

 

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Generation X: Americans Born 1965 to 1976

The new eighth edition of Generation X tells the story of the small but vital generation spanning the ages of 38 to 49 in 2014. Although their numbers are small, lifestage dictates that Generation X is a vital part of the nation’s commerce and culture. People in their thirties and forties are in the crowded-nest years. They are supposed to be advancing in their careers, their incomes should be growing, and their spending should climb because of the expenses of children and teens. But the generation has been hit hard by the Great Recession and is still struggling to recover. This reference shows you how Gen Xers are coping with these demands and what to expect in the future. 344 pages.

 

You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages on New Strategist’s web site, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF with links to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

 

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The Baby Boom: Americans Born 1946 to 1964

After more than six decades of breaking the rules established by their elders, the Baby-Boom generation and older Americans are one and the same. In 2014, Boomers spanned the ages from 50 to 68, accounting for 24 percent of the total U.S. population and 71 percent of the population aged 50 or older. The new eighth edition of The Baby Boom: Americans Born 1946 to 1964 includes in its pages, for the first time, a statistical profile of the U.S. population aged 50 or older-absorbing the New Strategist reference Older Americans: A Changed Market into one volume. Boomers already dominate the older market, and they’re transforming it as they take charge. The Baby-Boom is your strategic guide to the generation and how it is changing what it means to be old.

438 pages.

 

You can see the book’s introduction, table of contents, index, and sample pages on New Strategist’s web site, where you can also download this unique reference tool as a PDF with links to Excel spreadsheets of all data tables.

 

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For your convenience, all of New Strategist’s titles are available as searchable single- and multiple-user PDFs linked to spreadsheets of each data table so you can do your own analyses and create PowerPoint presentations.

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Number of married couples with children under age 18 (and percent of total households), 2007 and 2014…

2014: 25.335,000 million (21%)
2007: 27,350,000 million (24%)