Our population is shifting with great intensity, in terms of both ethnic makeup and behavior. There is no such thing as the average American family we once saw depicted in Norman Rockwell illustrations. We’re seeing gender roles bending (we’re looking at you, stay-at-home dad), life-stages stalling (“Boomerang kids”), and some unlikely generations enjoying the fruits of life (“Alpha Boomers”) and cultural recognition (“The Silver Muse Rises”).

While the biggest driver of these demographic trends is most certainly the economy and its paralyzing influence on household earnings and life-stage advancement, the bottom line is that our population can no longer be defined in simplistic terms. One interesting byproduct of the recession that’s reflective of these terms has been the reliance and retreat back to the family unit, both in terms of physical resources and of recognition and identity.

Alpha Boomers (n.)

56- to 65-year-olds, the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., who are big spenders and spending more money on mobile devices than any other age group.

For more information on Alpha Boomers, check out this article in The Independent and this one in The New York Post.


Boomerang kids (n.)

Adults who move back in with their families as a result of the lousy economy, unemployment and a “failure to launch.”

For more information on boomerang kids, check out this article in The Huffington Post and this one in The Wall Street Journal.

The New Minority (n.)

Reference to describe the new status of white/Caucasian Americans, as white babies now make up less than half of all births according to the Census.

For more information on the new minority, check out this article in the Los Angeles Times.


The Silver Muse Rises (n.)

The recent trend of brands and designers recognizing older women as style icons.

For more information on Silver Muse Rises, check out this article in The New York Times.


Acronym forsingle income, two children, oppressive mortgage,” referring to the rise of single parents and the volatile housing market.


WAWF (n.)

Initialism forWhat about working fathers?”, popularized by the desire for modern men to integrate work and family responsibilities in ways similar to women.

For more information on WAWF, check out this article in the Harvard Business Review and this post on The Glass Hammer.