U.S. Demographic Update: Behind the 2013 Census Data | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

At NBWA’s 76th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, Jim Johnson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spoke about “Disruptive Demographics.” Specifically, he explained how changing demographics related to age, gender, race, geography and marriage – including a shift in population concentration to the South and the “graying” and “browning” of America – may impact the future of the beer industry.

Johnson stated, “We need to recognize the economic value of multi-ethnic and multi-generational markets. Our markets are changing and we have to be sensitive to the diversity that exists.” He also stressed the importance of education to prepare strong employees for the future, when there will be four generations in the workplace. He noted the value of NBWA’s Next Generation Group and added, “Multi-generational diversity can be a game changer and it can be a competitive advantage for you.” 

Each summer the U.S. Census Bureau releases data that contains population estimates for single, age, race and sex characteristics by state. This data allows the beer industry to count legal drinking age populations and key beer drinker demographics around the country and by state.

Here are some key highlights from this data for the beer industry to consider:

1. Since 2010 the U.S. population grew by 2.4 percent, or 7.4 million people, in 2013. Texas led the country with the absolute largest growth in total population with 1.3 million new people, and North Dakota experienced the highest percentage growth at 7.6 percent.

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2. From 2010, the legal drinking age (LDA) population grew 3.8 percent, or 8.5 million people, in 2013. With the LDA population growing faster than the total, the country gets older on average. California added the most members of the LDA population with 1.3 million new people, while Washington, D.C., experienced the highest percentage growth rate at 7.6 percent.

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3. The male LDA population grew 4.1 percent over this time period. California added the absolute most LDA males, 667,000, while North Dakota’s LDA male population grew close to 10 percent.

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4. The Hispanic male LDA population grew 9.8 percent, by more than 1.5 million people. California added the absolute most LDA Hispanic males, 359,000, while North Dakota’s LDA Hispanic male population grew the most on a percentage basis at 66 percent.

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To receive a full workbook with all the data by state, age, race and sex from 2010 to 2013, or for additional information, please contact NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones at ljones@nbwa.org.