Gray is the new black: Baby boomers still outspend millennials

Wayne Best, Senior Vice President/Chief Economist
Baby boomer consumer spending. Winter 2016.

Big numbers, big spenders

By 2020, there will be about 11 million¹ more consumers over age 60. While the share of spending among younger consumers is expected to decline over the next 10 years, older boomers should gradually spend more with those aged 60+ reaching a 33 percent share of aggregate spending by 2025.

Industry forecasts show that Gen X and millennials will continue to be important consumer targets—as much for their current spending as for their longer-term loyalty—but the strongest future growth potential in spending lies firmly with baby boomers.

Population growth chart. See image description for details.
In 2005, population growth was the highest (nearly 4 percent year-over-year) among those aged 50-59 and lowest among Gen Xers and millennials (at less than 1 percent). However, it is expected that by 2020, most of the population growth will come from those 60+ (at nearly 6 percent), while growth will remain virtually unchanged for Gen Xers and millennials, and decline into negative territory for those aged 50-59.
Distribution of aggregate spending bar graph. See image description for details.
In 2015, aggregate spending was evenly split between those under 50 and those over 50, but by 2025 it is expected that those over 50 will represent about 52 percent of aggregate spending.
Wayne Best Headshot.

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