CCC Releases Report On Age In The United States
CCC Information Services, Inc. (www.cccis.com) has released part one of its report on the evolving demographics of automotive claims and collision repair industries in the United States.
The report discussed in length the demographics of age, focusing on the millennials - the first truly digital generation - and those drivers over 55, including the baby boomers.
According to the report, millennials have many firsts as an age group in the United States, including:
- The millennial generation is the best-educated cohort of young adults in America, but two-thirds of those graduating with a bachelor’s degree have loans averaging $27,000.
- According to Pew Research, millennials are the most racially diverse generation, with the highest share (43 percent) of non-white than any other generation to date.
- Highest share of individuals who consider themselves political independents (50 percent versus 39 percent for gen X; 37 percent for baby boomers, and 32 percent for silent).
- As of 2013 only 26 percent of individuals aged 18 to 32 were married versus 65 percent of the silent generation and 48 percent of the baby boomers when they were at a comparable age.
U.S. Aging Population
Yet all generations have gotten older. The United States is seeing its entire population get older - by 2050 the median age in the United States is expected to be 41 years versus 37 in 2010.
According to estimates from the U.S. government, the United States population will grow by 70 million by 2045 - more than the current populations of New York, Texas and Florida combined. By 2045 the number of Americans aged 65 and older will also grow 77 percent.
Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety projects over 10 percent growth in the United States driving age population between CY 2015 and 2030, with the greatest growth among the older age brackets.
And while teens have historically also had very high accident rates, the sheer number of teenagers in the United States actually has fallen steadily. In fact, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the percentage of the country that are teenagers has never been as low as it is today.
Baby Boomer Impact
The recession led many individuals to postpone retirement, but even now with the economy improving, many baby boomers are choosing to phase in retirement. A 2013 study, “Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus” by Merrill Lynch with Age Wave, found respondents were interested in continuing work in the fields in which they built their careers, like with consulting jobs. Sixty percent of older Americans have a career transition to a bridge job before retiring according to research from the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College.
Baby boomers also have the lowest rates of unemployment and the most wealth of all other age brackets, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and the Census Bureau.
Used And New Vehicle Buyers
In the United States, Americans aged 55-plus continue to purchase more vehicles than other age groups. Data from Chief Economist Lacey Plache from Edmunds.com reveals 43.3 percent of new vehicle registrations and 31 percent of used vehicle registrations in the United States in CY 2014 were for individuals in this age bracket. New vehicle registrations for millennials however are still down nearly 25 percent from CY 2007 levels.
In fact, according to Edmunds.com, 78 percent of the vehicles bought by millennials in CY 2014 were used. Used vehicle prices have remained elevated coming out of the recession, however, increases in supply of newer model used vehicles are expected to soften prices over time. With Experian data showing over 55 percent of used vehicle purchases sold with financing, carriers may want to ensure their millennial customers have a solid understanding of the depreciation cycle of a vehicle, and the potential impact that may have if the vehicle is involved in an accident that totals the vehicle.
With more vehicle registrations annually still coming from those in the United States aged 55-plus than millennials, insurance companies and collision repairers should pay attention to their own marketing, to ensure they address not only the needs and desires of the changing millennials generation, but of those aged 55-plus, who are also changing, and remain a very large opportunity.
In summary, the report states while there are many demographic changes happening in the United States, the shifts are slow. Businesses can take advantage of this to adapt marketing, sales and service plans accordingly. Read CCC Information Service’s entire report on its website, www.cccis.com.