Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association


Marketing to Seniors in America.

Older American Statistics and Impact of Baby Boomers.

Older Americans Month: May 2006

Older Americans Month originated with a presidential proclamation in May 1963 and has been proclaimed by presidents each year since. Last year, President Bush stated, “Older Americans teach us the timeless lessons of courage, sacrifice and love. By sharing their wisdom and experience, they
serve as role models for future generations. During Older Americans Month, we pay tribute to our senior citizens and their contributions to our nation.”

36.3 million
The number of people 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2004.
This age group accounted for 12 percent of the total population. Between
2003 and 2004, the size of this age group increased by 351,000 people.
< >

86.7 million
Projected population of people 65 and older in the year 2050. People in
this age group would comprise 21 percent of the total population at that
< >

Projected percentage increase in the 65-and-older population between 2000
and 2050. By comparison, the population as a whole would have increased by
only 49 percent over the same period.
< >

483 million
Current world population age 65 and older. Projections indicate the number
will increase to 974 million by 2030.
< >
and < >

Income and Wealth

Median net worth in 2000 of households with householders 65 and older. In
contrast, householders under the age of 35 had a median household net worth
of $7,240. < >

Median 2004 income of households with householders 65 and older,
statistically unchanged, in real terms, from the previous year.
< >

Poverty rate for people 65 and older in 2004, down 0.4 percentage points
from the previous year.
< >

Percentage of total annual personal income of people 65 and older that
comes from Social Security payments.
< >

Serving Our Nation

9.1 million

Estimated number of people age 65 and older who are military veterans.
(Source: American FactFinder)


5 million
Number of people age 65 and older who are in the labor force.
< >, (2006 edition, Table No. 577)


Proportion of people age 65 and older in 2004 with at least a high school
diploma. < >

Percentage of the population age 65 and older in 2004 who had earned a
bachelor’s degree or higher education.
< >

Number of people age 65 and older enrolled in college in October 2004.
< >

Marital Status


Percentage of people age 65 and older who were married in 2004.
< >

Percentage of people 65 and older who were widowed in 2004.
< >



Percentage of citizens age 65 and older registered to vote in the 2004
presidential election, the highest rate of any age group. Seventy-one
percent of people in this age group reported actually casting a ballot.
< >

Of all the votes cast in the 2040 presidential election, the projected
percentage to be cast by people 65 and older. In the 2004 election, people
in this age group cast 19 percent of the votes.
< >
and < >)



Proportion of householders age 65 and older in 2005 who owned their homes.
This compares with 43 percent for householders at the other end of the age
spectrum — under age 35.
< >

Coming to America

3.7 million
Number of U.S. foreign-born residents 65 and older in 2004.
< >

Population Distribution


Overall, the number of men age 65 and older on July 1, 2004, for every 100
women in this age group. For those 85 and over, it drops to 45 men per 100
women. < >

4.9 million
The number of people 85 and older in the United States on July 1, 2004.
< >

Estimated number of centenarians in the United States on Nov. 1, 2005.
< >

Projected number of centenarians in the United States in 2040.
< >


Percentage of Florida’s population that was 65 and older on July 1, 2004.
Florida led all states
in this category. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Iowa
followed closely, at
15 percent each.
< >

Percentage increase in the number of people age 65 and older in Nevada
between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004 — the highest in the nation. Alaska
closely followed at 3.8 percent.
< >

3.8 million
Number of people 65 and older living in California on July 1, 2004, the
highest total of any state. Florida, with 2.9 million, was the runner-up.
< >


11.3 million

Number of people 65 and older who engage in exercise walking, by far the
most popular sports activity for this age group, at least six times a year.
The next most popular forms of exercise for this age group are exercising
with equipment, net fishing, camping, golf and swimming. (People 65 and
older are keeping up with younger adults; exercise walking was number one
for them also.) < > (2006 edition, Table
No. 1238)

About 3-in-10
Of all mass market, or “pocket sized,” books purchased in 2004 by adults,
the proportion bought by people age 65 and older.
< > (2006 edition, Table No. 1128)



Percentage of households with a householder age 65 and older who own a
motor vehicle.
< > (2006 edition, Table No. 700)

Percentage of households with a householder age 65 or older who have three
or more cars available to use.
< >



Percentage of people 65 and older who have a computer at home.
< >

Percentage of people 65 and older who use the Internet.
< >

If you would like to reach Seniors using direct  mail, you can get mailing list recommendations at or you can contact the NMOA's Advanced Member Services department.

In a Related Study on the Trends of Aging:

Dramatic Changes in U.S. Aging Highlighted in New Census, NIH Report

Impact of Baby Boomers Anticipated

The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically — and
rapidly, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s
older Americans are very different from their predecessors, living longer,
having lower rates of disability, achieving higher levels of education and
less often living in poverty. And the baby boomers, the first of whom
celebrated their 60th birthdays in 2006, promise to redefine further what
it means to grow older in America.

“The social and economic implications of an aging population — and of
the baby boom in particular — are likely to be profound for both
individuals and society,” says Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.

The report, 65+ in the United States: 2005, was commissioned by the
Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health,
to provide a picture of the health and socioeconomic status of the aging
population. It highlights striking shifts in aging on a population scale
and also describes changes at the local and even family level, examining,
for example, changes in family structure as a result of divorce.

“The collection, analysis and reporting of reliable data are critical to
informing policy as the nation moves ahead to address the challenges and
opportunities of an aging population,” says NIA Director Richard J. Hodes,
M.D. “This report tells us that we have made a lot of progress in improving
the health and well-being of older Americans, but there is much left to

Among the trends:

-- The U.S. population age 65 and over is expected to double in size within
the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1-out-of-5 Americans — some 72 million
people — will be 65 years or older. The age group 85 and older is now the
fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

-- The health of older Americans is improving. Still, many are disabled and
suffer from chronic conditions. The proportion with a disability fell
significantly from 26.2 percent in 1982 to 19.7 percent in 1999. But 14
million people age 65 and older reported some level of disability in Census
2000, mostly linked to a high prevalence of chronic conditions such as
heart disease or arthritis.

-- The financial circumstances of older people have improved dramatically,
although there are wide variations in income and wealth. The proportion of
people aged 65 and older in poverty decreased from 35 percent in 1959 to 10
percent in 2003, mostly attributed to the support of Social Security. In
2000, the poorest fifth of senior households had a net worth of $3,500
($44,346 including home equity) and the wealthiest had $328,432 ($449,800
including home equity).

-- Florida (17.6 percent), Pennsylvania (15.6 percent) and West Virginia
(15.3 percent) are the “oldest” states, with the highest percentages of
people age 65 and older. Charlotte County, Fla., (34.7 percent) has the
highest concentration of older residents and McIntosh County, N.D., (34.2
percent) ranks second.

-- Higher levels of education, which are linked to better health, higher
income, more wealth and a higher standard of living in retirement, will
continue to increase among people 65 and older. The proportion of Americans
with at least a bachelor’s degree grew five-fold from 1950 to 2003, from
3.4 percent to 17.4 percent; and by 2030, more than one-fourth of the older
population is expected to have an undergraduate degree. The percentage
completing high school quadrupled from 1950 to 2003, from 17 percent to
71.5 percent.

-- As the United States as a whole grows more diverse, so does the
population age65 and older. In 2003, older Americans were 83 percent
non-Hispanic white, 8 percent black, 6 percent Hispanic and 3 percent
Asian. By 2030, an estimated 72 percent of older Americans will be
non-Hispanic white, 11 percent Hispanic, 10 percent black and 5 percent

-- Changes in the American family have significant implications for future
aging. Divorce, for example, is on the rise, and some researchers suggest
that fewer children and more stepchildren may change the availability of
family support in the future for people at older ages. In 1960, only 1.6
percent of older men and 1.5 percent of women age 65 and older were
divorced; but by 2003, 7 percent of older men and 8.6 percent of older
women were divorced and had not remarried. The trend may be continuing. In
2003, among people in their early 60s, 12.2 percent of men and 15.9 percent
of women were divorced.

The 65+ report is a project of the NIA’s Behavioral and Social Research
Program, which supports the collection and analyses of data in several
national and international studies on health, retirement, and aging. The
program’s director, Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., suggests that, with five
years to go before the baby boom turns 65, “Many people have an image of
aging that may be 20 years out of date. The very current portrait presented
here shows how much has changed and where trends may be headed in the

The 243-page compendium examines in detail five key areas: growth of the
older population (changes in age and racial/ethnic composition), longevity
and health (life expectancy and causes of death), economic characteristics
(income and household wealth), geographic distribution (by population and
race) and social and other characteristics (marital status, living
arrangements and voting patterns).

The report covers a wide range of topics and timelines, pulling together
data from Census 2000 and previous censuses, nationally representative
surveys and recent population projections. In addition to the data compiled
by other federal agencies, including the National Center for Health
Statistics and the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, the report also includes statistics from the Current
Population Survey; American Housing Survey; National Health Interview
Survey; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Survey of Income
and Program Participation; and the Health and Retirement Study.

The Census Bureau is the leading source of quality data about the
nation’s people and economy. For more information, visit the Census Bureau
Web site < >.

The NIA is the lead federal agency conducting and supporting basic,
biomedical, and behavioral and social research on aging and the special
needs and problems of older people. For more information, visit the NIA Web
site at < > or call toll free 1-800-222-2225.

If you would like to reach Seniors using direct  mail, you can get mailing list recommendations at or you can contact the NMOA's Advanced Member Services department.


Direct Marketing Discussions at;

Direct Marketing Seminars, Events and Tradeshows at:

More Useful Direct Marketing and Mail Order Links.

Advertising- Bridal Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Christian Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Hispanic/Latino Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Hispanic/Latino Market Advertising Guide- Master Series

Advertising- Home Furnishing and Decor Advertising Guide

Advertising- Home Gardening Advertising Guide

Advertising- Parenting Market Advertising Guide

Advertising-Pet Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Woman's Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- How to Create Great Small Business Advertising

Advertising- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz

Call Centers- Telephone Order Taking Services

Catalogs- Catalog and E-commerce Benchmarks

Catalogs- Directory of Mail Order Catalogs

Catalogs- Directory of Business to Business Catalogs

Catalogs- Top 150 Catalogs in the United States

Classified Advertising- How to Market using Classified Ads

Direct Mail- Copywriters and Creative Services Guide

Direct Mail- Directory of Major Direct Mailers

Direct Mail- Inside Direct Mail Newsletter

Direct Mail- Secrets of Successful Direct Mail by Dick Benson

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Seminars and Events

Direct Marketing- Discussion Forum

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Statistics

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Response Rates

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Toolkit

Direct Marketing- Industry Contact Directory

Fulfillment- Warehouse and Order Fulfillment Centers

Mailing Lists- Direct Mail and E-mail Lists

New Products for Direct Marketers to Sell

Product Marketing- Promote your Product to Catalog and Direct Marketing Companies.

Product Marketing- Joe Cossman's Course for Marketing a Product

Product Marketing- How to Market a Product for Under $500

Start a Mail Order Business- Direct Marketing Toolkit

Wholesale and Drop Shipping- Professional Wholesale Resource Guide

Wholesale Search Engine

Direct Marketing Bookstore

National Mail Order Association Home

Direct Marketing Article Archive