Half of All Households Will Be 55+ or Older by 2011

Share this Article


Within five years, half of all U.S. households will be headed by someone age 55 or older, according to a recently released profile and forecast of the 50+ housing market conducted by the NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council.
By the year 2014, the number of 55+ households in the U.S. is expected to grow to 51.6%, or 65.8 million households.
The report, “Profile of the 50+ Housing Market,” analyzes U.S. Census Bureau data, provides demographic information and forecasts housing characteristics, mobility, neighborhood attributes and other key factors that will help NAHB members working in the 50+ market better assess effective demand for 50+ housing. The research and analysis was conducted by NAHB’s economics department.
The report is only available to 50+ Housing Council members and can be downloaded from the NAHB Web site at www.nahb.org/50plusresearch. The first two chapters of the report “” “50+ Demographics” and “50+ Income and Wealth” “” are currently available.
According to the analysis, the largest number of households “• 25.1 million “• will be headed by people in the 55-64 age group. Those 65-74 will head 20.7 million households, and those 45-54 will head 23.3 million households, an indication that the 50+ market will be a significant portion of the housing market for several decades.
The following are some additional observations and forecasts available in the report:

  • Married Without Children

More than 45% of the households age 55 or older are married couples without children living in the household. More than a quarter of the 55+ households “” 26.5% “” consist of one-person female households.

  • Minority Share of Older Households Is Increasing

While 80% of 55+ households are currently headed by white non-Hispanics, according to the latest Census data, the minority share of households has been on the rise and the trend toward diversity is expected to continue because immigration is higher now than it had been for at least five decades. According to the report, the U.S. has been adding more than three immigrants per 1,000 residents since 1980 “” a substantially higher rate than the country has experienced in the 50 years prior to that.

  • 55+ Households Have Lion’s Share of Net Worth and Residential Equity

Equity is an important component of 55+ household wealth. Older households are more likely to be retired and have a lower share of household income than households under 55+. However, 55+ households have more net worth and residential equity than younger households.
For older households, accumulated wealth or net worth was $28.8 trillion “” or 57% of all U.S. households in 2004. Similarly, 55+ households held $9 trillion in residential equity, or 58% of the residential equity held by all U.S. households.

  • Second Homes More Prevalent Among Older Households

More than 13% of 55+ households own second homes, compared to about 8% for younger households, according to Federal Reserve data. Second home ownership peaks at ages 55-64, reinforcing the conventional explanation that many in this age group buy the homes to eventually retire in them.

Only the first two chapters of the profile analyzing 50+ demographics and income and wealth are currently available online to 50+ Housing Council members. Additional chapters, which will be available soon, include:

  • “50+ Regional and Neighborhood Attributes” “” including information on regions, communities and neighborhoods that 50+ households live in
  • “50+ Housing Characteristics” “” including information on housing value and housing costs
  • “50+ Household Mobility” “” how often and how far they move
  • “Characteristics of 50+ Households that Move”
  • “Characteristics of the Homes Chosen”

For more information visit the 50+ Housing Council on the NAHB Web site.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply