By 2015, there were more than 1.6 billion people in the world who were part of the 50-plus cohort. By 2050, this number is projected to double to nearly 3.2 billion people.
Throughout the world the growth of this age group is having a transformative impact, economically and socially. The US alone is home to 111 million in the 50-plus cohort; they represent a powerful force that is driving economic growth and value. This is what AARP has branded the Longevity Economy, representing the sum of all economic activity driven by the needs of Americans aged 50 and older, and includes both products and services they purchase directly and the further economic activity this spending generates.
The difference it makes is substantial. In the first Longevity Economy report released in 2013 by AARP and Oxford Economics, the Longevity Economy fostered $7.1 trillion in annual economic activity. This figure has now been revised up to $7.6 trillion in the latest report. The outsized contribution reflects the changing demographics, wealth, and spending patterns of the 50-plus population as the lifespan increases and the Longevity Economy becomes more pervasive and central to economic and social policies.