Author Archives: Brent Roderick

Brent Roderick
With more than 20 years’ experience in the marketing information industry, Brent Roderick is part of the Product Marketing group at Esri. In this capacity, she is responsible for marketing a variety of databases including Updated Demographics, Tapestry Segmentation, and other Esri business, consumer, and demographic data products.

Recent Posts

Demystifying Millennials

While their behaviors confound retailers and marketers, we’re starting to gain a better understanding of what makes this cohort click.

Do you know any Millennials? You might even be a Millennial yourself.

Milliennials are contradictions, alternately described as lazy, entitled, idealistic, close to family, and racially diverse. Pew Research notes that Millennials are not bound to organized politics or religion, support a more activist government, are linked by social media, carry debt, and are optimistic about the future.

Demographers disagree about the exact time frame this huge group encompasses. Some say that Millennials were born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000s. Pew Research says that Millennials range in age from 18 to 33 years. Continue reading

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Boomers’ Retirement: Changing Outlook

For generations, Americans worked hard, lived within their means, saved for retirement, spent their golden years in relative comfort, and passed on a healthy inheritance to their children. Many Classic Boomers held only one or two jobs during their careers; received healthy raises, bonuses, and pensions; and didn’t have to worry about healthcare costs gutting their assets. These were traditionally-held patterns and goals. Based on these behaviors, many in succeeding generations could count on an inheritance to help finance large expenditures such as buying a house or paying for their children’s educations. Now? Maybe not so much. Ironically, in the days before the first wave of Boomers began to retire, economists warned against the impact of the largest transfer of wealth in our nation’s history.

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Are We There Yet? Median US Household Income Recovering in 2013

“Are we there yet?”

Vacationing parents usually answer this familiar question with a resounding “No!” The inquiry also resonates with economists who agree that median household income in the United States is “not there yet.”

Median household income is nowhere near the pre-Great Recession figures. According to Esri’s Updated Demographics data, median household income was $53,150 in 2007. During calendar year 2008 (the first year after the start of the recession), median household income rose to $54,700. In the intervening years, median household income fell from $54,700 in 2009 to $54,442 in 2010, and dropped in 98 percent of US counties. In 2013, Esri’s Updated Demographics data notes that with a figure of $51,314, median household income is still in recovery, increasing by only $1,157 from $50,157 in 2012. Continue reading

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Retirement Hopes Fade for Many Americans

Playing on the beach with grandchildren, fishing in mountain streams, and perfecting golf scores…those are fading dreams of retirement for scores of older people in the US. Many have changed or postponed their retirement plans due to job losses, reduced home values, and decimated 401k assets. Some now believe they’ll never retire. Even more alarming is the lack of savings among those of retirement age. According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), most workers questioned say they have virtually no savings or investments. And 37% of those surveyed think they will have to wait until after age 65 to retire.

When they can least afford it, many seniors are also carrying mortgages and credit card debt. Others have made loans to adult children that have not yet been repaid. AARP comments that 34% of older Americans have used credit cards for basic expenses such as mortgage payments, healthcare, groceries, and utilities. As a result, their average household credit card debt stands at approximately $8,248.

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Where Did Raymond Barone and Cliff Huxtable Go?

Change has been the constant for the US demographic landscape recently. Two major demographic differences since Census 2000 are the growth of minority populations and changes to household composition. Traditional households of “dad, mom, two kids, and a dog” are no longer the norm. Household types are changing and evolving, so it may be a slow goodbye to the household types portrayed in “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Cosby Show”, and hello to a group of entirely different kind of households. Continue reading

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America’s Changing Population: Diversity Index Shows Growing Trend

In 2012, the US population was 313 million. Growing diversity continues to produce striking changes in the population. To provide an accurate way to track these changes, Esri created a proprietary Diversity Index that measures diversity on a scale from 0 to 100. The Diversity Index is defined as the likelihood that two persons, selected at random from the same area, would belong to a different race or ethnic group. For example, if an area’s entire population belongs to the same race or ethnic group, the Index is zero and the area has no diversity. Conversely, if the population can be evenly divided among two or more race or ethnic groups, the area’s Diversity Index increases to 100. The Diversity Index measures only the degree of diversity in an area, not its racial composition. Esri’s Diversity Index for the US has risen from 60.6 in 2010 to 61.4 in 2012, with a forecast to increase to 63.8 within five years. Continue reading

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Today’s Seniors: One Demographic Group, Or Many?

Like it or not, we are all aging. In 2000, the median age in the United States was 35.3 years. By 2010, this number had increased to 37.0 years; today, the median age is 37.3 years. By 2030, seniors will comprise 20 percent of the total US population. In addition to people living longer, the jump in the US median age is also due to aging Baby Boomers.

Seniors are not one monolithic demographic cohort. From those aged 55 to those in their 80s and older, seniors have vastly different lifestyles, preferences, and spending habits. These differences become even more apparent when classified by demographics such as affluence, education, employment, and race/ethnicity. Data about product and media preferences, leisure activities, and shopping habits provides even more detail. Continue reading

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