The Brookings Institute and the Research Institute for Housing America

America's Regional Demographics in the '00s Decade: The Role of Seniors, Boomers, and New Minorities

In the first decade of the 21st Century, it is becoming clear that America’s demography will become far more multifaceted than we have known in the past. Two of the main demographic engines, propelling these changes, are discussed in this report: first, we examine the rise in America’s senior population, which will be propelled by the beginning wave of aging Baby Boomers; and second, the rise of new minorities, Hispanics and Asians, that is propelled by the huge, recent immigration to the United States.

Both of these trends will exert strong impacts on our society and economy for years to come. The purpose of this report is to show how these changes are now playing out nationally and across America’s regions. As the report reveals, the sharp demographic shifts that were heralded right after the 2000 Census was taken were just the tip of the iceberg, and only a few years later America has changed even more dramatically in ways that make these demographic segments important ones to watch. They reflect new ways to look at America’s consumers, voters and communities of citizens that are segmented across our national landscape.