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Mining Silver: Identifying Opportunities in the Senior Boom

Executive Summary

Today, dealing with aging goes well beyond just shrugging off one’s apprehensions about getting old. For individuals, businesses and governments, the physical and mental changes associated with getting older present a host of challenges. And ever-more people are facing these challenges: improvements in healthcare, safer food and more comfortable, less dangerous jobs are fueling a consistent upward movement in average life expectancy. As a result, we are seeing a boom in the population of silvers, which we define as those aged 65 and older.

The growth in senior populations across the world is impacting consumer spending patterns and pressing governments to legislate and budget for changing demands. Two main factors are impacting these trends—the sheer size of the aging population and the purchasing power that aging consumers wield:

  • The senior population will account for over a third of all global population growth between 2015 and 2030. The global 65+ population stood at 8.3%, or 608 million in 2015, and it is expected to grow to 11.7% of the total population, or 995 million, by 2030, according to UN data.
  • Our research on the US, the UK and Japan found that senior households tend to spend more on a per-person basis than the average household does. This is part a result of wealth accumulation, but it also reflects the relative advantages older consumers have enjoyed over their younger peers. Younger generations have see pay and conditions degraded, tuition fees climb and, in some markets, basic living costs, such as housing, skyrocket.

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