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Census Table Shows 37-Year-Olds Are Great Prospects

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The Census Bureau has published a new U.S. population estimate table confirming what insurance agents and advisors know in their guts: Some vintages of U.S. prospects are much bigger than others.

Many age distribution tables break down the U.S. population in terms of decades, or even generations. Those tables show that the baby boom generation, or the generation of people born from 1946 to 1964, is much bigger than the generation that came before it, or the “baby bust” generation that followed the baby boom. A new baby boomlet followed the baby bust. The people born during the baby boomlet are now all over about 20.

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The new Census Bureau table is different: It breaks down the population by single year of age, and it shows how government analysts believe the age distribution looked each year from 2010 through 2016.

The table shows, for example, that analysts believe the United States had 3.94 million babies under age 1 in 2010, and 3.97 million babies under age 1 in 2016.

The number of 99-year-olds may have increased from 32,300 in 2010 to 44,900 in 2016.

Marketers hoping to sell products to people ages 91 or older are in luck: The population in each single-year age group in that age range increased at least 30% between 2010 and 2016. The number of 98-year-olds soared 50%, to 6.9 million.

For financial services professionals interested in offering annuities and income-planning services to older consumers, the 1947 consumer vintage is a great vintage. Those are people who were 69 in 2016, which is the latest year given in the Census Bureau estimates.

Thanks to factors such as the end of World War II and the invention of antibiotics, the number of 70-year-olds living in the United States is now about 58% bigger than it was in 2010.

The number of people in similar single-year age groups has also grown, but not by as much. The number of 69-year-olds is 40% higher, and the number of 68-year-olds is just 24% higher.

Many financial professionals, and especially those who offer medically underwritten life insurance products, tend to work most often with clients ages 30 to 50.

The people turning 50 this year were born in 1967 and show up as 49-year-olds in the new Census Bureau table. For marketers who want to sell to 50-year-olds, the 1967 vintage is an awful vintage: There are only 4.1 million Americans who were born in 1967. The number of 50-year-olds is now 12% lower than it was in 2010.

For a professional offering products or services best suited to people who are about 50, the small number of 50-year-olds acts like a strong wind blowing in the wrong direction.

Professionals who tend to work more with 37-year-olds may be in better shape: There are now about 4.4 million 37-year-olds, and the number of 37-year-olds is about 15% higher than in 2010.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

— Read Life Insurance Application Activity Rose 0.3% in December on ThinkAdvisor.