TABLE 4-1 Population Growth Each Decade and by Dominant Age Group, 1960–2050 (in millions except as indicated)

Decade

Population Growth

Dominant Age Group

Total 25+a

Ages 25–64

Ages 65+

Age Group

Growth

Percent of Total

1960–1970

10.6

7.1

3.4

55–64

3.1

28.9

1970–1980

22.9

17.3

5.6

25–34

12.1

53.0

1980–1990

25.1

19.6

5.5

35–44

12.0

47.7

1990–2000

24.0

20.2

3.8

45–54

12.8

53.5

2000–2010

21.4

16.3

5.2

55–64

11.8

54.8

2010–2020

22.1

7.8

14.4

65–74

10.5

47.5

2020–2030

19.2

2.4

16.8

75–84

8.3

43.4

2030–2040

20.1

11.5

8.6

85+

5.8

28.9

2040–2050

19.0

12.3

6.7

85+

5.5

28.7

Note: Since 1970, when the leading edge of the baby boomers turned 25, and continuing until 2030, when the leading edge will turn 85, this generation accounts for more than 40 percent of the growth in the U.S. population each decade.

aThose age 24 and younger are excluded because few persons in this age group are homeowners.

Source: Pitkin and Myers 2008, Table 4.

the general principle that future housing development demand is shaped by growth at the margin rather than by the average growth in new households.2

These effects could represent an important opportunity for shifts to denser development patterns as boomers downsize and move to smaller housing units and possibly to more central, walkable locations (Myers and Gearin 2001). These preferences could shift even more strongly once such new retirement-friendly developments are available

2

The idea is that only 1 to 2 percent of all households each year live in newly constructed units, and it is this small minority to which developers cater. Thus, a demographic change such as the demand of boomers for retirement housing has the potential to drive major shifts in development patterns if it involves distinctly different preferences from the growth categories of prior decades (Pitkin and Myers 2008).



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