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Demographic pop quiz: What’s the fastest growing population segment in the U.S.? Answer: 70+. Now 40 million strong, this generation that came of age in the post-World World II era of economic expansion is projected to reach 55 million by 2031—growing by 1.5 million annually.

In addition to their sheer size, consumers aged 70+ boast the highest net worth of all age groups, clocking in at just under half a million dollars, per MRI-Simmons.

“The 70+ audience has a significant impact in the marketplace,” Mark Bradbury, Senior Director, Insights & Integrated Marketing, AARP Media Solutions, writes in an op-ed piece for AdAge. They spend $1.1 trillion annually on consumer goods and services and are behind one-fourth of all expenditures made by 50+ consumers on apparel, entertainment, household furnishings, personal care, food at home, AV equipment, pharmaceuticals, health insurance and medical supplies.

In addition to having the highest net worth and spending more, the 70+ crowd consumes media content across channels. “This generation has welcomed every new media platform since radio, driving the cultural relevance of broadcast TV and the rise of cable networks,” says Bradbury. Raised on radio and print, this demo more recently accelerated their use of the internet, social media and smartphones due to the pandemic. “Today, 70+ adults are highly engaged in media, with 98% using magazines and/or the internet, and 78% using both, making them an essential audience for integrated advertising campaigns,” notes Bradbury.

The main point of the piece is that marketers shouldn’t overlook 70+ consumers, a message that no doubt resonates for those radio stations with a high concentration of this segment in their audience composition. “Their liberated lifestyle makes 70+ consumers game-changers for a wide variety of brands and, considering their growing size, their spending influence is primed to expand,” Bradbury writes. “Brands can build strong relationships by demonstrating how they can help this important consumer segment pursue its passions and purpose.”