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The Longevity Economy Outlook

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 - Longevity Economy® Outlook, How people age 50 and older are fueling economic growth, stimulating jobs, and creating opportunities for all.

Six Things You Need to Know

  1. The overall contributions of the 50-plus population's economic and unpaid activities was worth more than $9 trillion.

  2. By 2050, the annual economic contributions of the 50-plus age group will triple from $8.3 trillion in 2018 to $28.2 trillion.

  3. The societal benefits of the 50-plus population's caregiving and volunteering efforts totaled $745 billion and total charitable donations were $97 billion in 2018.

  4. People 50-plus supported 88.6 million jobs for the US economy in 2018.

  5. People 50-plus contributed $2.1 trillion in federal, state, and local taxes in 2018—a figure that will increase 4 times by 2050. This tax revenue includes both amounts directly paid by people 50-plus and the ripple effects of all their economic activities.

  6. In terms of direct spending, 56 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S in 2018 was attributable to the 50-plus population and this share is set to increase to 61 cents by 2050.

For more information, please contact AARP Thought Leadership at For media inquiries, please contact


Suggested citation:

Accius, Jean, and Joo Yeoun Suh. The Longevity Economy Outlook: How People Ages 50 and Older are Fueling Economic Growth, Stimulating Jobs, and Creating Opportunities for all. Washington, DC: AARP Thought Leadership, December 2019.


Longevity Economy Infographic

  • The contributions of people ages 50 and older through 2050 will benefit society and Americans of all ages.
  • Download and view the infographic.

Interactive Data Visualizations

Longevity Economy: Projected Market Opportunity

Explore the data with the interactive data visualization tool.