Tag Archives: demographics

Student Loan Debt Spreads to Retirees

For many Americans, the rise in student loan debt means slowing economic recovery, delaying lifestage changes, and even postponing retirement.

Usually considered an issue that impacts only recent college graduates, new studies find that student loan debt is growing among pre-retirees and even those who have already retired. The 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) notes that the rise in student loan debt is pervasive and affects nearly every age group. Families with education loans increased between 2010 and 2013, continuing the long-term trend of rising education debt. Forty-five percent of all American families have outstanding student loans, up from 33 percent in 2007. Between 2001 and 2013, education debt increased from 22.4 percent to 38.8 percent for young families—a household headed by someone younger than age 40.

How is this situation impacting the overall US economy?

Delaying Growth

Because of their student loans, many younger people are delaying home ownership, marriage, and having kids until their finances improve. Because most of this group aren’t establishing their own households now, growth of the broader economy remains sluggish. Many aren’t buying houses, or items such as furnishings, baby/children’s products, or home improvement/construction materials.

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Map Gives New Insights into Global Population

Esri’s World Population Estimate, a new probability surface that estimates the location and count of people throughout the world, is now available in ArcGIS Online.

Esri has been producing a global population estimate in ArcGIS Online for several years. This data is in the form of point features with population counts and characteristics assigned to each point; and it is used behind the scenes in apps such as Business Analyst Online, Community Analyst, and Esri Maps Apps. That may sound simple, but those points are big data; with nearly a billion locations represented. The Geographic Data Enrichment tools depend on those points as the basis for describing the characteristics of local populations in countries lacking a census or countries that do not make detailed census data available.

World Population Estimate map for Jakarta, Indonesia.

Based on this earlier point data work, Esri released the World Population Estimate (WPE) in December 2014. WPE takes the form of a raster surface, which is far easier to make available in ArcGIS Online and use in analysis models than the previous point data. Continue reading

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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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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 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 type portrayed in “Everybody Loves Raymond”, 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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