Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



Business in Nebraska vol. 57, no. 670


Copyright 2002 by Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska.


BBR's recenlly released population projections indicate that many of Nebraska's nonrnelre counties will experience dramatic population losses over the next two decades, while the slale's metro counties will continue togrow rapidly. Many of the slate's non metro counties already have large e!derly populations and this group will continue to grow faster than others. But, what are the implications of those population trends for the state's businesses? Population change drives market size for most businesses, but how will changes in the population's age distribution affect the way consumers spend their money?

Household Projections

Baby boomers (those born from 1946 to 1964) will begin to reach retirement age in 2011 . As this cohort grows older in Nebraska, the age distribution will profoundlychange. Consequently, the population of 55 to 74 year aids will grow rapidly statewide. nearly doubling in metro counties by 2020 and increasing nearly 28 percent in the nonrnetfo counties that do not have a trade center of at least 2,500 population. This trend is significant, since it shifts the share of households from the highest-spending, middle-aged (35-54) households into older age groups that spend differently-20 to 30 percent less, on average (Figu re 1).

Spending Patterns by Age

Impact of ging on Consumer Demand

Retail Sales Leakage