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    “Growing Older Fast” – Some Thoughts on Implications

    by Kent Collins

    Our local newspaper, The Island Packet, recently published a well-written, two part article on the changing demographics of Hilton Head Island’s population “The graying of Hilton Head.”  We at Collins Group Realty found the article both interesting and relevant to serving our clients.

    The gist of the article is that the Island’s population, in line with that of the nation, is getting older. This has a number of implications, some which create challenges while others present clear opportunities.

     The good news is that, as the Island community actively re-invests, it is bound to maintain its popularity as both a vacation spot and retirement destination. The trend of re-investment in the Island’s infrastructure continues at a brisk and mounting pace. The list of recently refurbished shopping centers, hotels, recreational areas and rental accommodations attests to this.

    Regarding the Island’s “aging” population, the Packet article points out that “retirement” for the great majority of those who live here centers about very active involvement in the athletics, arts, education, civic activities and enjoyment of our incomparable natural environment. It’s true that a number of folks who bought their retirement home here 15-20 years ago are now looking to downsize or move into alternative abodes. So, it appears that the inventory of listings could have an increasing number of new entrants.

    But, on the other hand, the population – nationwide – of folks over age 60 will continue to increase dramatically, pointing towards an increasing supply of prospective buyers:

    Older Population by Age Group: 1900 to 2050
    Census Year Age
    60-64
    Age
    65-74
     Age
    75-84
     Age
    85+
    Age 60 and older  Age 65 and older Total,
    all ages
    1900 1,791,363 2,186,767 771,369 122,362 4,871,861 3,080,498 75,994,575
    1910 2,267,150 2,793,231 989,056 167,237 6,216,674 3,949,524 91,972,266
    1920 2,982,548 3,463,511 1,259,339 210,365 7,915,763 4,933,215 105,710,620
    1930 3,751,221 4,720,609 1,641,066 272,130 10,385,026 6,633,805 122,775,046
    1940 4,728,340 6,376,189 2,278,373 364,752 13,747,654 9,019,314 131,669,275
    1950 6,059,475 8,414,885 3,277,751 576,901 18,329,012 12,269,537 150,697,361
    1960 7,142,452 10,996,842 4,633,486 929,252 23,702,032 16,559,580 179,323,175
    1970 8,616,784 12,435,456 6,119,145 1,510,901 28,682,286 20,065,502 203,211,926
    1980 10,087,621 15,580,605 7,728,755 2,240,067 35,637,048 25,549,427 226,545,805
    1990 10,616,167 18,106,558 10,055,108 3,080,165 41,857,998 31,241,831 248,709,873
    2000 10,805,447 18,390,986 12,361,180 4,239,587 45,797,200 34,991,753 281,421,906
    2010 16,757,689 21,462,599 13,014,814 5,751,299 56,986,401 40,228,712 310,232,863
    2020 21,008,851 32,312,186 15,895,265 6,597,019 75,813,321 54,804,470 341,386,665
    2030 20,079,650 38,784,325 24,562,604 8,744,986 92,171,565 72,091,915 373,503,674
    2040 20,512,884 36,895,223 30,145,467 14,197,701 101,751,275 81,238,391 405,655,295
    2050 23,490,423 40,112,637 29,393,295 19,041,041 112,037,396 88,546,973 439,010,253
    Source: US Census Bureau
    Chart of Population 65 and over by age:  1900 to 2050
    This chart shows the large increases in the population 65 and older from 3.1 million people in 1900 to 35 million in 2000 and projected to 72 million in 2030.

    Projections of South Carolina’s populations fall in line with the national projections, but likely understate the Island’s future growth, given Hilton Head’s disproportionately high attraction to retirees.

    These demographic projections point to a dynamic real estate market on the Island over the foreseeable future.

    State Census 2000 Projection 2005 Projection 2010 Projection 2015 Projection 2020 Projection 2025 Projection 2030
    SC       651,482        738,659       876,512     1,032,093      1,198,333       1,349,390        1,450,487
    Data Source: U.S.Census Bureau

    The key task of Collins Group Realty is to advise our clients on the most advantageous ways to realize their ambitions in this changing environment.  We strive to meet the needs of our clients by levering our long-established local presence, utilizing our years of intimate market knowledge while analyzing and adjusting to evolving market trends and by continually investing in our professional capabilities.

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