Keeping Up with the Baby Boomers

Evan Gold April 1, 2012 0
Keeping Up with the Baby Boomers

Scarborough Study Reveals Insights into Baby Boomers’ Entertainment Spending

A new study from local market consumer research firm Scarborough re- veals that Baby Boomers*, making up 35% of the U.S. adult population (81M), are living up to their revolutionary legacy, showing the nation that their hey- day is far from over by taking pleasure in life’s adventures.

Baby Boomers are spending their time out on the town. In the past 12 months Baby Boomers have attended a professional sporting event (36%), attended live theater (22%), visited an art museum (14%), attended a rock con- cert (12%) and gone to the symphony or opera

(9%). And Baby Boomers don’t just have a hunger for entertainment – they are 11% more likely than all American adults to have eaten at a seafood restaurant or steakhouse in the past 30 days.

Baby Boomers are also 9% more likely than all U.S. adults to have traveled domestically for business or vacation purposes in the past year and 3% more likely to have engaged in foreign travel for business or vacation purposes in the past three years. 9% of Baby Boomers have visited Europe in the past three years and 12% vacationed in the Caribbean in the same time frame. Their enthusiasm for travel also keeps them feeling lucky – 9% of Baby Boomers have visited Las Vegas in the past year and 34% visited any casino in the same time frame. This statistic shows that casinos are for everyone and the enjoyment of them doesn’t pass with age. Online casinos such as Dada99 have also soared in popularity for people in this age bracket in recent years. The enthusiasm for both travel and casinos may lead Baby Boomers to stay at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, and any other ages who are enthralled by traveling and casino games! If this vacation interests you, check out their website at Going back and forth to the casino on your vacation means that you will need reliable transport throughout your time there. Consequently, it might be worth checking out sites like to see if they can aid you during your stay.

In addition to living exciting lives outside of the home, Baby Boomers are spending money to make their home lives more entertaining as well. Nearly half (45%) of Baby Boomers live in a household with a digital video recorder and 30% live in a household with a video game system. Baby Boomers are 21% more likely than all American adults to live in a household with a pool, hot tub or spa and 7% of Baby Boomers live in a household with a motorcycle. Baby Boomers also take great pride in the appearance of their homes as 27% have had landscaping done in the past year and they are 21% more likely than all American adults to have spent $10,000 or more on home improvements in the past year.

“Baby Boomers remain an essential demographic since they reap the rewards of having had long careers and no longer have young children to care for,” says Brian Condon, executive vice president of commercial development. “Baby Boomers represent a segment of the American population that has a thirst for adventure, and the financial freedom to explore that passion.”

Baby Boomers can be found reading national news (28%), making travel reservations (23%) and gaining medical services and information online (14%). On the radio, Baby Boomers listen to Adult Contemporary (30%), News and Talk (28%), and Classic Hits (25%). The kinds of television shows Baby Boomers typically watch are Movies (57%), Local Evening News (53%), Comedies (47%), and Local Morning News (44%).

Baby Boomers are 22% more likely than all American adults to be employed full- time and are 32% more likely to own a home valued at $500K or more. They are 23% more likely than all American adults to have an annual household income of $100,000 or more and are 9% more likely to hold at least a college degree.

The biggest spenders of the Baby Boom generation are the High-Earning Baby Boomers (HEBBs), defined by Scarborough as Baby Boomers who live in households that have an annual income of $100,000 or more. HEBBs account for 9% (20M) of the American adult population and are more than twice as likely as all American adults to own a second home or other real estate property for investment. This is becoming more and more popular for this generation of Americans due to their higher-earning jobs. Purchasing a second home allows them to gain a steady income from renting it out. There is an interesting guide on Roofstock all about getting involved in the real estate market. A lot of Americans are using this as a side hustle to give them some extra income. Furthermore, baby boomers were nearly two and a half times more likely than all Americans to have spent $10,000 or more in the past year on remodeling their homes. HEBBs live in house- holds that are 82% more likely than all American households to have a 401K plan, and more than twice as likely to have a college savings plan.

HEBBs can be found in large cities where earning potential is reportedly higher. Among the top local markets for HEBBs are: Washington, D.C. (18% of all adults); San Francisco (16%); New York (14%) and Boston (14%).

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18- 29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

About Scarborough Research

Scarborough ( measures American life. Our consumer insights reflect shopping patterns, media usage across platforms and lifestyle trends for adults. Media professionals and marketers use Scarborough insights to make smarter marketing/business decisions on things like ad placement, multicultural target- ing, and sponsorship opportunities. The company’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 77 Top-Tier Markets, its Multi-Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Me- dia Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Other products and services include Scarborough Mid-Tier Local Market Studies, Hispanic Studies and Custom Research Solutions. Scarborough measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out-of-home media companies. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. and The Nielsen Company.

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