Demographic trends show that, with the aging of the "baby boom generation" older adults represent one of the faster growing segments of the United States population. Please discuss what environmental implications this could have for regional and local land use patterns across the United States
Demographic Trends and Implications of Baby Boomers for Land Use In America
Demographic trends show that, with the aging of the "baby boom generation", older adults represent one of the faster growing segments of the United States population. This will have major environmental implications for regional and local land use patterns across the United States. This change will also have a significant impact on the United States' long-term economic and fiscal outlook. Specifically key trends in changes are projected to include but not limited to:
1. Even though the population growth will be healthy, the pace will be moderate;
2. Immigration will account for a significant and more dominant share of the U.S' population growth;
3. Seniors will make up the greater share of the population;
4. The working population growth will slow; and
5. Projection indicates that larger urban centers will experience the fastest rate of population growth(AARP, 2012; NAP, 2009).
The Baby Boomers
Consumer Preferences: Travel
Travel data and consumer preference surveys indicate significant differences in attitude and behavior between older and younger generations. For example, individuals who were born before 1980 ( Baby Boomers), grew up during the period of automobile ascendency, when vehicle design and roadway improvements provided direct user benefits, and many of the indirect costs of automobile dependency were not as visible. As such, driving was considered exciting and fun, and most members of that generation preferred living in 'automobile-oriented suburbs'(Litman, 2013).
Those born after 1980 however, drive significantly less, rely more on alternative methods of traveling and prefer to live in more compact, multi-modal urban environments (Litman, 2013). In essence, the excitement, fun, time and money, that previous generations directed at their cars can be now seen in the younger generations' penchant for electronic devices, such as mobile telephones, computers and stereo equipments and sound systems (Litman, 2013). The automobile travel demand while it will probably grow in some areas and among some demographic groups, especially those moving from low- to middle-incomes, will likely decline among other groups; and especially the aging Baby Boomers as well as other community residents that implement mobility management, wellness programs, and smart growth policies(Litman, 2013).
That said however, it is plausible that travel demands will not increase substantially because of enhancements in information and communication technologies, changes in land use patterns -including but not limited to: movement to urban, pedestrian-oriented areas that minimize vehicle travel demands, increases in fuel prices, and changes in ...
The demographic trend effects on land use patterns are examined.