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Silver in the Hair = Silver in Granite State's Pockets

PHOTO: Are seniors the new economic powerhouse? Research shows New Hampshire residents over age 50 are driving half the state's economic growth and supporting more than half of its jobs. Photo credit: Chalmers Butterfield/Wikipedia
PHOTO: Are seniors the new economic powerhouse? Research shows New Hampshire residents over age 50 are driving half the state's economic growth and supporting more than half of its jobs. Photo credit: Chalmers Butterfield/Wikipedia
November 24, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. - You may be surprised to learn the Granite State residents most likely to have a bit of silver in their hair are also among the main drivers bringing a silver lining to New Hampshire's economy.

That's according to a new report from Oxford Economics. Todd Fahey, state director for AARP New Hampshire, says the report shows that locals 50-plus are actually outperforming their numbers in the population in terms of the boost they're giving to commerce in New Hampshire.

"Only four in 10 of New Hampshire's population is 50-plus. However, they generate $25 billion in consumer spending," says Fahey. "They're the state's biggest economic generator, they account for 50 percent of New Hampshire's economic output, 54 percent of jobs."

The research by Oxford Economics refers to this trend as the "longevity economy." It pegs the value at $7 trillion annually and projects that 106 million Americans who are 50-plus will grow that number to top $13 trillion by the year 2032.

There are lots of stories in the news about the costs associated with people living longer, in New Hampshire and nationwide. But Fahey says this report shows there's another side to that coin.

"We speak of the rebalancing of the system, and how we're going to address the needs of an aging population and those who care for them," says Fahey. "We celebrate what this population brings and the numbers are impressive."

Fahey says the numbers also are conservative, because they only take into account paid work provided by those ages 50 and older.

"This doesn't include volunteer hours that go to the benefit of the state and its citizens," says Fahey. "So, it's important to respect what this segment of the population brings to the economy of New Hampshire."

AARP commissioned report, The Longevity Economy.

The report notes the $7 trillion dollar figure represents 46 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. The figure equals the third-largest economy in the world, after the U.S. and China.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH