Something is transforming our markets and our world. It's the economic and societal contribution of Americans age 50-plus, worth over $9 trillion in 2018 and projected to grow.
The 50-plus population now represents four generations (from the GI generation to Generation X) and by 2031 will include millions of Millennials. Generation Z will join the 50-plus cohort in 2047.
As people live longer and healthier lives, they are contributing to communities and fueling economic growth well past the traditional retirement age. The contributions of people 50-plus benefit society and Americans of all ages, due to growing numbers of people this age who are working, paying taxes, supporting the growing job market, giving time and money to charitable causes, and caregiving for family and loved ones. These economic trends will continue to lay the foundation for economic growth through 2050, according to a new analysis from AARP.
The economic contributions of the 50-plus age group will grow from $8.3 trillion in 2018 to $28.2 trillion by 2050.
In 2018, 44% of all jobs were held or created by people 50-plus, representing 88.6 million jobs. This is projected to grow to 102.8 million jobs by 2050.
The wages and salaries generated by people 50-plus were $5.7 trillion in 2018 and are projected to grow to $19.2 trillion by 2050.
People age 50-plus contribute significantly to federal, state and local taxes, and their contribution will quadruple in dollar value terms from $2.1 trillion in 2018 to $8.3 trillion by 2050.
Spending by people 50-plus amounted to $7.6 trillion in 2018 – accounting for 56 cents (or 56%) of every dollar spent. This cohort is forecast to spend $27.5 trillion by 2050 (61% of total spending).
People 50-plus contributed unpaid activities worth $745 billion* in 2018.
in caregiving, up 76% since 2000
in volunteering, up 112% since 2000
Explore the Data
Show the Trend: The Impact of Americans Age 50 and Older by 2050
As the share of older Americans in the population grows, so will their contribution to society.
Select a metric to see how much people 50-plus will contribute to the economy in 2050.
Giving Back: The Value of Unpaid Activities
Beyond direct market activities, Americans age 50 and older contribute billions of dollars worth of work through unpaid activities like volunteering and caregiving for children and adults.
View the total contribution of unpaid activities below or select a specific category to see its value.
Living and Working Longer: How People Age 50 and Older Support Jobs and America's Economy
As Americans live longer, healthier lives, they are holding and creating more jobs across every industry sector.
2018 Employment in the Automobile industry by Age
Consumer Spending Among the 50-Plus Population Benefits Families, Businesses and Communities at Large
People 50-plus spent $7.6 trillion on goods and services in 2018. This is projected to grow to $27.5 trillion by 2050.
A significant amount of this growth comes from the fact that more people will enter the 50-plus age group over time.
Health care spending
Projected Market Opportunity
Select industries to project the percentage of every dollar spent by the growing 50-plus market.