NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Baby Boomers Losing Clout

May 29, 2001

For decades, baby boomers dominated politics, culture, marketing and social policies in every part of the country. But the 2000 census revealed that their influence is waning as older people live longer and more immigrants arrive in the U.S.

  • There are almost 80 million boomers -- defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.
  • Boomers' share of the U.S. population slipped to just under 30 percent of the U.S. population in 2000 -- from 32.5 percent in 1990.
  • At the same time, they are becoming concentrated in parts of New England and the Rocky Mountain states -- specifically, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
  • The biggest increases in the actual number of boomers are in states in the Sun Belt -- Florida, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Nevada.

But their influence in Sun Belt states is waning because immigrants and so many people in other age groups also are moving there.

Experts have an interesting theory as to why boomers are being attracted to Rocky Mountain states. They were barraged by pop culture images of the West when they grew up in the 1950s and 1960s -- and they now want to settle in the areas of majestic scenery they saw in TV cowboy shows and movies back then.

Source: Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg, "Baby Boomers Start to Bunch Up," USA Today, May 29, 2001.


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