Salient to Investors:

The Census Bureau’s new projections show:

  • The US population of just 399.8 million in 2050 versus 439.0 million projected in 2008.
  • 90 percent of the US population in 1950 was white, versus 64 percent in 2010. (Beginning in 1980, whites are non-Hispanic white)
  • Non-Hispanic whites will peak in 2024 at just under 200 million and decline steadily after that, but remain above 50 percent of the population until 2043, though the share of those under age 45 will fall below 50 percent in 2027, and those under age 18 will fall below 50 percent in 2018.
  • The Bureau’s projections assume the addition of well over 4 million infants under age 1 each year, including 4.2 million in 2012 – versus the National Center for Health Statistics provisional number of births for the 12 months ending in June 2012 of just 3.9 million, 39,000 fewer births than during the same period ending in June 2011 and 374,233 fewer births than the 4,316,233 in 2007, the record high year.
  • The US geographic mobility rate in 2011-12 was 12.0% versus 14.2% in 2000-01. The mobility rate of US homeowners between March 2011 and March 2012 was a record low of 4.739 percent versus the peak at 9.5 percent in the late 1980s – indicating continued trouble in the housing market. 9,701,000 homeowners moved in 2011-12, a record low, versus more than 17 million at the peak in 1999-2000.
  • The mobility of renters climbed to 26.7 percent in 2011-12 – the largest number of renters moving since 1998-99 – signaling an improving economy but not necessarily an improving housing market.
  • Half the housing stock in the US is nearly 40 years old.
  • In 2012, the median age of men who marry for the first time was 28.6 versus the low of 22.5 years in the 1950s. The median age for women marrying for the first time was 26.6 in 2012 versus a low of 20.1 years in the 1950s and 20.3 years in 1960.
  • Average household size fell to a record low of 2.55 people in 2012 because of the aging of the population and the entry of the small generation X into the crowded-nest life stage.
  • The US is in the midst of another baby bust. During the baby bust of the 1970s, which created Generation X, births fell 37 percent from the peak in 1957 to the trough in 1973. Fertility rates are at a record low of 63 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, and do not have room to fall much more.
  • The birth rate of women in their prime childbearing years – aged 20 to 24 – continued its long-term trend to an all-time low of 85.3 births per 1,000 women versus 258.1 births in 1960. The cause is higher education – only 39 percent of women who graduated from high school in 1960 went to college, versus 74 percent in 2010.
  • Rising college enrollment explains not only the declining birth rate but also the rise in the median age at first marriage.

The 2012 American Values Survey of the Public Religion Research Institute says 19 percent of Americans are religiously unaffiliated; more than double the figure in 1990, and versus 22 percent for Catholics, 20 percent for evangelical Protestants and 15 percent white mainline Protestants.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies says 43 percent of workers aged 18 or older are planning to work past age 70 or not retire at all, while 54 percent plan to continue to work even after retirement. 65 percent do not have a back-up plan if they find themselves unable to work before their planned retirement.

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