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Lifestyles of Baby Boomers - US - December 2011

Economic concerns are the underlying theme of the lifestyle changes made by many of the nation’s Baby Boomers. Since the recession officially ended in 2009, there have been few positive developments regarding the tepid state of U.S. economic growth. With retirement funds ravaged, jobs scarce, and costs for necessities such as transportation and healthcare rising, Boomers have had to make cuts in their entertainment and leisure spending compared with the pre-recession years. At the same time, Boomers are experiencing lifestyle changes and new financial challenges, as many find themselves assisting their grown children by opening up their homes to them and/or providing financial assistance. The finances of Boomers may be further strained among those offering financial and/or residential support to their parents.

Compared with 2009 when Mintel last published a report on this topic, Lifestyles of Baby Boomers—U.S., October 2009, an increasing volume of marketing efforts appear to be directed toward Boomers. However, Boomers remain underrepresented in most media advertising, given the size and relative wealth of the generation.

This report addresses the following questions about Baby Boomers:

  • What is the spending power of Baby Boomers? How vital is this important and influential consumer group to brand growth?
  • How secure are Baby Boomers about their finances and how does this differ by racial or ethnic group?
  • How have Baby Boomers made economic sacrifices, foregoing the “finer things” to care for other family members suffering through tough economic times?
  • What is the best approach to marketing to the high percentage of Baby Boomer divorcées?
  • How do Baby Boomers figure in to America’s workplace?
  • What are the eating and dietary habits of Baby Boomers, both in the home and in restaurants? How have diet and healthy dining choices gained increased importance—particularly among Baby Boomer women?
  • What level of trust do Baby Boomers have in the nation’s elected leaders?
  • How active are Baby Boomers in social organizations and clubs?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Baby Boomers account for one quarter of the U.S. population
                      • Bulk of Baby Boomers are white, non-Hispanic
                        • Marriage, and divorce, are found most among Boomers
                          • Younger Boomers are financially assisting grown children
                            • Baby Boomers more educated than the average adult—for now
                              • Baby Boomers are workplace leaders, and aren’t retiring soon
                                • Baby Boomers have the highest average annual incomes
                                  • Baby Boomers are the top spenders on insurance, healthcare
                                    • Nearly three in 10 Baby Boomers offer financial support to their grown kids
                                      • Older Baby Boomers more confident in their financial situation
                                        • Black and Hispanic Boomers are less financially sound
                                          • Baby Boomers are spending less on leisure-time activities
                                            • Middle-income Baby Boomers are cutting back the most
                                              • Baby Boomers believe they are in control of their financial health
                                                • Distrust of politicians high among Baby Boomers
                                                  • Black Boomers more convinced of an economic revival
                                                    • Compared to five years ago, many Baby Boomers feeling more stress
                                                      • Baby Boomers are mindful of how they eat, particularly women
                                                        • Baby Boomers socially and politically active, with many connections
                                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                                          • Marketers are increasingly targeting Boomers and addressing their needs
                                                            • Agelessness, healthy choices leading the ad surge
                                                              • Fifty and flirty: active singles amid the Boomers
                                                                • Median household income dips have curbed spending, to a degree
                                                                  • Marketers can attract aging Boomers by adapting to their needs
                                                                    • Incorporating Baby Boomer preferences in entertainment and advertising
                                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                                        • Trend: Agelessness
                                                                          • Trend: Power of One
                                                                          • Demographic Profile of Baby Boomers

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Baby Boomers account for one quarter of Americans
                                                                                • Figure 1: Population, by generation, 2011
                                                                              • Aging Baby Boomers are reaching traditional retirement age
                                                                                • Figure 2: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                              • More than eight in 10 Baby Boomers are white
                                                                                • Figure 3: Generations, by race, 2011
                                                                                • Figure 4: Generations, by Hispanic origin, 2011
                                                                              • Cooler climes compete with the Sun Belt for aging adults
                                                                                • Baby Boomers are more likely to be married … and divorced
                                                                                  • Figure 6: Marital status, by generation, 2010
                                                                                • More adults living in Younger Baby Boomer homes
                                                                                  • Figure 7: Number of persons and children younger than 18 per consumer unit, by age/generation of reference person, 2009
                                                                                • Home ownership remains a dominant trait
                                                                                  • Figure 8: Homeownership, by age/generation of reference person, 2009
                                                                              • Socioeconomic Profile of Baby Boomers

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Baby Boomers lag Gen Xers on higher education
                                                                                    • Figure 9: Educational attainment, by age/generation, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 10: Educational attainment, by generation, 2009
                                                                                  • Baby Boomers are active in the workplace, and aren’t retiring soon
                                                                                    • Figure 11: Unemployment, by age/generation, 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Occupation of older Baby Boomers, by gender, 2009
                                                                                  • Income of 45-64s exceeds other generations
                                                                                    • Figure 13: Income distribution of all households and households headed by people aged 45-64, 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Income distribution of households headed by people aged 45-54 and 55-64, 2010
                                                                                  • Declining median household income hits 45-54s hardest
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Median household income for all households and households headed by people aged 45-54 and 55-64, 2001-10
                                                                                  • Like income, 45-64s’ expenses higher than the average
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Average annual expenditures by major category, by all consumer units and consumer units with a reference person aged 45-64, 2010
                                                                                  • Total expenditures flat from 2006-10, but dramatically shifted across categories
                                                                                      • Figure 17: Average annual expenditures by major category, by consumer units with a reference person aged 45 to 64, 2006-10
                                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                      • WOW! Computer for Seniors, “A computer designed for you—not your grandchildren”
                                                                                          • Figure 18: WOW! Computers, 2011
                                                                                        • Consumer Cellular: “Get the superior, low-cost wireless you deserve”
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Motorola WX345 mobile phone, Consumer Cellular, 2011
                                                                                          • Apparel maker responds to aging Boomer women’s physiques
                                                                                          • Brands and the Advertising Landscape

                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                              • Brand analysis: Ensure
                                                                                                • Figure 20: Brand analysis of Ensure, 2011
                                                                                              • Website
                                                                                                • YouTube
                                                                                                  • Television advertising
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Ensure television ad, 2011
                                                                                                  • Toyota Venza
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Brand analysis of Toyota Venza, 2011
                                                                                                  • Website
                                                                                                    • Facebook
                                                                                                      • YouTube
                                                                                                        • Television advertising
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Toyota Venza television ad, 2011
                                                                                                        • Print advertising
                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Toyota Venza print ad, 2011
                                                                                                        • America’s Dairy Farmers
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Brand analysis of America’s Dairy Farmers, Got Milk?, 2011
                                                                                                        • Website
                                                                                                          • Facebook
                                                                                                            • Television advertising
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: America’s Dairy Farmers television ad, 2011
                                                                                                            • Dannon Activia
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Brand analysis of Activia, 2011
                                                                                                            • Website
                                                                                                              • Facebook
                                                                                                                • Television advertising
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Activia television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                • Cerveza Dos Equis
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Brand analysis of Dos Equis, 2011
                                                                                                                • Website
                                                                                                                  • Facebook
                                                                                                                    • YouTube
                                                                                                                      • Television advertising
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Dos Equis television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Household Living Situation

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • One in three Baby Boomers have adult children living in the household
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Baby Boomers’ current household members, by older/younger Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                        • Black Boomers more likely than white to have children in the household
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Baby Boomers’ current household members, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                      • Financial Assistance To Family Members

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Nearly three in 10 Baby Boomers financially assisting adult children
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Baby Boomers currently providing financial assistance, by younger/older Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                          • Higher income Baby Boomers more likely to be assisting the kids
                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Baby Boomers currently providing financial assistance, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                        • Financial Security and Insecurity

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Older Boomers express the most confidence in their finances
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Feelings about financial security, by generation, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Financial confidence directly related to household income
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Baby Boomers’ feelings about financial security, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Black and Hispanic Boomers less financially secure
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Baby Boomers’ feelings about financial security, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                          • Spending Compared to Last Year

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Baby Boomers are spending less on leisure and pleasure
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Baby Boomers’ spending compared with last year, by spend category, August 2011
                                                                                                                              • Rising cost of essentials puts damper on discretionary spending
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Categories receiving more spending compared with last year, by generation, August 2011
                                                                                                                                • Blacks spending more on food, housing, and entertainment
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Categories on which Baby Boomers are spending more compared with last year, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                • Middle-income Baby Boomers are cutting back
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Categories on which Baby Boomers are spending less compared with last year, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Toward the Economy and Security

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Baby Boomers believe they are in control of their financial health
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, August 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Baby Boomers are disgusted with politicians
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, by younger/older Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Black Boomers more optimistic about economy, trustful of politicians
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                • Lifestyle Attitudes: 2011 vs. 2006

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • About half of Boomers have more financial stress, feel less financially secure
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Baby Boomers’ feelings about lifestyle compared with five years ago, August 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Baby Boomers feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by younger/older Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Household income strongly linked to Boomer health
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Baby Boomers feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Hispanic Boomers are more stressed now than non-Hispanic Boomers
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Baby Boomers feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Diet and Healthy Behaviors

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Baby Boomers are maintaining healthy eating habits
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by younger/older Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Baby Boomer women more concerned about health, diet and well-being
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Healthy lifestyles lag among lower-income Boomers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Marriage is good for Baby Boomers’ health
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by marital status, August 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Social Activity and Participation

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Baby Boomers a socially active group
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Baby Boomers’ participation in organizations and social activities, by younger/older Boomers, August 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Baby Boomer women more active overall, men more politically engaged
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Baby Boomers’ participation in organizations and social activities, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                              • Stressed Outs
                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                      • Economic Optimists
                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                              • Healthy Affluents
                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Current household members, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Currently providing financial assistance, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Feelings about financial security, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Categories on which Baby Boomers are spending more compared with last year, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Diet and lifestyle behaviors, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Participation in organizations and social activities, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Attitudes toward the economy and security, by Baby Boomer clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Baby Boomer clusters, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Baby Boomer clusters, by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Baby Boomer clusters, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Baby Boomer clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Baby Boomer clusters, by education, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Baby Boomer clusters, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                          • Household living situation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Current household members, by generation, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Baby Boomers’ current household members, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Baby Boomers’ current household members, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Financial assistance to family members
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Currently providing financial assistance, by generation, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Baby Boomers currently providing financial assistance, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Financial security and insecurity
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Baby Boomers’ feelings about financial security, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Spending compared to last year
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Categories on which Baby Boomers are spending more compared with last year, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Categories on which Baby Boomers are spending more compared with last year, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward the economy and security
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Baby Boomers’ attitudes toward the economy and security, by employment status, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Lifestyle attitudes: 2006 vs. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Baby Boomers feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Baby Boomers feeling more/better about lifestyle compared with five years ago, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Diet and healthy behaviors
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Diet and lifestyle behaviors, by generation, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Baby Boomers’ diet and lifestyle behaviors, by employment status, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix—Advocacy Organizations & Associations

                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbott Laboratories
                                                                                                                                                                          • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
                                                                                                                                                                          • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Bloomingdale's
                                                                                                                                                                          • Bose Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                          • Cablevision Systems Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                          • Dairy Farmers of America Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Gallup Organization, The
                                                                                                                                                                          • Groupe Danone
                                                                                                                                                                          • Grupo Gallegos
                                                                                                                                                                          • Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                                                                                                                                          • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                                                          • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                          • MetLife, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                          • Nike
                                                                                                                                                                          • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                          • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                          • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                          • Prudential Financial, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                          • Saatchi & Saatchi
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sprint Nextel Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                          • The Neiman Marcus Group Inc
                                                                                                                                                                          • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                          • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                          • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                          • Verizon Communications Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Wells Fargo & Company
                                                                                                                                                                          • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                          Lifestyles of Baby Boomers - US - December 2011

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