The Near Future Of Mobility

travel, cars

Aging in Suburbia- Southern Style


Where Boomers live….and drive!

There’s a small table in Chapter 1 of Aging in Suburbia with the  dull title, “Baby Boomer Population by Region”.  The numbers  are from the 2006 US Census,  and would appear, at first glance, to be just another  compilation.

But what pops out is the percentage of Baby Boomers who have settled in the South- The Census counted nearly 37%, a far high percentage than in the Midwest, West, or Northeast. Even with Texas  included, 37% is a remarkably high rate.  Back in the 1990s when the Boomers were nesting (Chapter Two) house prices were lower in the South in the early 1990s than in much of California and the Northeast. Over time, that price gap has only widened.

This has implications down the line for Boomers who plan to retire, and for Millenials who may need to drive them too:

(1) Atlanta and other large Southern cities have fewer transportation options, and many residents in the South are more dependent on their cars.

(2) Neighborhoods in the South are newer and are more spread out, e.g., more suburban sprawl and less ability to walk or bike to the stores and for errands.

(3) If incomes are not growing, and the cost of living is cheaper in the South, staying put makes economic sense

…especially for retirees on fixed incomes.

Horace Greeley said “Go West, Young Man.” The new refrain, “Stay South, Southern Man?”