Here's what happened to MIB life application volume for 3 age groups, between December 2018 and December 2019, and between 2018 and 2019...

1. Ages 0 to 44

December (year over year): Down 4.2%

Full year: Down 3.2%

Ages 45 to 59

December (year over year): Down 3.8%

Full year: Up 1.3%

Ages 60 and Older

December (year over year): Down 0.1%

Full year: Up 11%

U.S. consumers were probably a little more likely to apply for individual life insurance in 2019 than in 2018 — but December was nothing special.

That’s the picture that emerges from a new batch of life insurance application volume data from MIB Group Inc.

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MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based industry consortium that helps life insurers share some of the data used in the life insurance underwriting process.

The overall level of application checking activity fell 3.3% between December 2018 and December 2019, after increasing 6% between November 2018 and November 2019.

But the application activity level for all of 2019 was 0.4% higher than in 2018.

For all of 2018, MIB application activity was 1.1% lower than in 2017.

MIB application activity levels have been much stronger for older applicants than for younger applicants for most of the past few years. That trend continued in December.

For a breakdown of the latest MIB application activity figures by age, see the data cards in the slideshow above. (Wiggle your pointer over the first slide to see the slideshow control arrows.)

People ages 40 through 54 are part of the “Generation X” generation born from 1965 through 1979, which is much smaller than the “Baby Boom” generation, which includes people born from 1946 through 1964.

Some economists have speculated that members of Generation X may be more financially stressed than members of other generations, in part because of the lingering effects of the weakness that plagued the U.S. job market as members of that generation were entering the workforce.

Lee Oliphant, MIB’s chief executive officer, said in a comment about the latest results that younger-age buyers must balance their level of disposable income against the value of life insurance protection.

The 2019 results “imply that challenges with this age group remain,” Oliphant said.

— Read Where Did the Young Life Insurance Applicants Go?on ThinkAdvisor.

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