Demographics: No such thing as Average American (but Boomers aren’t happy)

The 2010 Census is expected to find that 309 million people live in the United States. But one person will be missing: the average American. “The concept of an ‘average American’ is gone, probably forever,” demographics expert Peter Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Ad Age white paper. “The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.” The message to marketers is clear: No single demographic, or even handful of demographics, neatly defines the nation. There is no such thing as “the American consumer.”
1950 american family
Young adults in their late teens and early 20s report the highest levels of happiness among all Americans, while their counterparts in their 50s and 80s are the least content, according an analysis of more than 600,000 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews from 2008 and 2009. The research, which examined study participants’ answers to a series of questions about how often the feel happy, experience enjoyment, smile and laugh, found that while highest in early adulthood, happiness drops among Americans in their 30s and 40s, and – in particular – among those in their 50s. It then rises among Americans in their 60s, drops among those in their late 70s and 80s, and then rises again among those older than 90.
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