Growth in Furniture Buying Population (Households)by Age Segment: 2000 to 2013
Prime Furniture Purchasing Age Groups: Growth in Furniture Buying Population (Households) by Age Segment: 2000 to 2013
This is the first in a series of Factoids that graphically detail the shifts in the populations and purchasing habits of the four prime furniture purchasing age groups in the Furniture Industry. By 2007 as the Recession was hitting stride, the two older age groups (ages 45 to 54 and ages 55 to 64) surpassed the younger generations in size. Combined, these predominately Baby Boomers now consist of over 50% of the furniture buying population.
Households ages 35 to 44, which dominated the furniture industry’s record growth of the late 1990s and early 2000s, are in sharp decline. In 2004, this prime family age group fell to become the 2nd largest age segment and in 2011 fell again to 3rd place.
FACTOID SERIES: PRIME FURNITURE PURCHASING AGE GROUPS
The Baby Boomers (born during the 20 year period 1945 to 1964) now include all persons ages 49 to 68. This historical segment drove the record growth of the furniture industry in the 1990s through the early 2000s.
Traditionally, furniture industry purchasers (households) have been divided into four age groups: 25 to 34 years, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, and 55 to 64. As the largest block of U.S. households, the Baby Boomers (currently ages 49 to 68) have begun their exit out of their prime furniture purchasing years. As they grow older, the industry faces challenges, especially in the next 5 to 10 years, as household formations have slowed to very low growth.
The next generation to give the furniture industry the bump it needs is known as Generation Y. They are a product of the second highest birth rate in U.S. history and are currently between the ages of approximately 9 and 28. The furniture industry anxiously awaits this generation’s full arrival. In 10 years the youngest of the Baby Boomers will be nearing 60 years of age and the youngest of the Generation Y group will be almost 20.
Over the next several issues, HFB will present “Factoids” detailing relevant data on the age segments of the U.S. households and their impact on the furniture industry. The first Factoid details the historical growth of households within the age segments and graphically depicts the aging of the Boomers.
• Ages 25 to 34: The youngest age group has showed little growth since 2000 growing only 7.5% and representing 23% the furniture buying population. But that is about to change as the leading edge of the group with the second highest birth rate in U.S. history, Generation Y, starts making its way into the furniture buying population.
• Ages 35 to 44: In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the 35 to 44 age group dominated the furniture industry spurring record growth in all product categories. At its peak, this group totaled 23.2 million households, but has fallen from 30% of the furniture buying population in 2000 to 24% in 2012. This segment, traditionally the bread and butter of the furniture industry, is in sharp decline as the low birth rate generation known as the Baby Bust (those born in the early 1960s through the early 1980s) moves through this age segment’s ranks.
• Ages 45 to 54: In the mid-2000s, the glut of the Baby Boomers was in the age group 45 to 54. By 2004 this age group surpassed the younger group to become the largest household segment. Now in their prime earning years, they total 24.1 million households. The middle of this segment (age 49) is currently the last edge of the Baby Boomers. This 45 to 54 age segment peaked three years ago and began its gradual decline.
• Ages 55 to 64: Since 2000, the Baby Boomers have poured into the 55 to 64 age group. The rise in households has been rapid, growing 68% since the start of the millennium. In 2011 this group became the 2nd largest age segment. Currently it totals 24.1 million households and has grown from 18% of the furniture buying population in 2000 to 25%.
Our Factoid Series on the Prime Furniture Purchasing Age Groups will continue over several weeks.