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The Changing Consumer

October 13, 2009
Posted by Susan Weissman

In 2010 The Census Bureau will spend upwards of $15 billion to study the American population.  We know we’re changing.  Peter Francese, founder of American Demographics magazine, offers projections and insight as to what the census will show:

•  22% of American’s fit the iconic family — married with a couple of children.  The most prevalent type of U.S. household?  Married with no kids, followed closely by single-person households.

• No ethnic or racial category describes our nation’s 10 largest cities….80% of people age 65+ will be white non-Hispanics.  But 54% of children under age 18 will be white non-Hispanics.

•  We are moving.  85% of the nation’s population growth occurred in the South and West in the last decade.

What will change about the health care consumer?  We know that for decades, women have been the decision makers for themselves, their immediate families and their parents.  I don’t see this changing for the foreseeable future, women will still dominate the decision making process.  But the way they make health care decisions IS changing.  With greater access to information, a move towards transparency in terms of outcomes that consumers can understand, and societal pressure to advocate for oneself and loved ones — the medical professionals ability to lead their patient choices will change.  Now is the time to build systems and infrastructure to adapt to new processes, support consumer-driven decisions, and position yourself as consumer friendly.

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