Demography plays a big part in understanding populations all over the world. Several agencies provide updated data that prove shifts in demography affect health systems. To know more about how demography changes our lives, demographer Kenneth Gronbach will explain all of the factors that influence the world population in this episode.
Kenneth Gronbach shares that before he got into demographics research, we were working in the advertising and marketing industry from 1979 to 1991. His most prominent client was selling American Honda motorcycles and represented 140 dealers from the tip of Maine, Pittsburg and Washington D.C.
The motorcycles were shipped from Japan, and they were selling like hotcakes since 1986. When they stumbled on a sales problem in 1986, Kenneth Gronbach and his team decided to reduce the price of the motorcycles. They also developed scooters in an attempt to revive the market.
But their efforts were futile. By 1992, the industry’s Japanese brands fell by 80% which left them clueless. Eventually, it led them to close dealerships.
Kenneth Gronbach recalls that he first stumbled on the importance of demographics in 1996 when he was in his office reading a full-page editorial. That editorial indicted the whole Generation X by labeling them as slackers, lazy, and couch potatoes because they were allegedly not performing at the level of the Baby Boomers.
Generation X are those people who were born between 1965 to 1984. A skeptic of the editorial, Kenneth Gronbach called his research department and asked them to research everything about Generation X.
Generation X Revelation
The report from Kenneth Gronbach’s research department was surprising. The research team said that apparently, Generation X would never perform at the level of the Baby Boomers.
According to the report, Generation X was not lazy. There were just fewer babies born from 1965 to 1984 than there were in 1945 to 1964. Boomers are bouncing off to 80 million, and Generation X is only 69 million.
“So I think we solved the issue with motorcycle sales. Because if Generation X is 11 to 12% smaller, a 25% reduction in the size of the population will wipe out any market,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
Effects of Generation X
Generation X made a significant impact in population. Kenneth Gronbach says they shut down maternity wards and hospitals because they weren’t needed. Research reports indicate that the Baby Boomers were producing way over 4 million babies a year while Generation X dropped to 3 million babies a year. As a result, they also closed 30% of the public schools.
Kenneth Gronbach also said that Detroit did not figure out why they couldn’t sell the same number of highly profitable SUVs to this new Generation X. This is because nobody bothered to count them.
“Adding on to the problem was that in 2008 when Baby Boomers were bumping up against retirement and had their entire retirement in their home equity,” said Kenneth Gronbach. “Baby Boomers decided it was time to get the equity out and move to Florida. And they did so in massive numbers.”
Another important situation affected by the demographics shift is labor. Kenneth Gronbach says that Generation X is currently people aged 34 to 53 years old. It is a small generation. And because Generation X was missing 9 or 10 million people, just in time for the Baby Boomers to demand services, labor was in a jam.
“Immigrants from Mexico came in and took a lot of the entry-level jobs. Without Latinos, we wouldn’t have enough babies now to sustain our country and culture,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
He adds,”If you look at the lion’s share of the Latinos in the United States, we have a huge block that is currently 34 to 53 years old. And the ones that stayed were socio-economically advancing which is wonderful. Culturally, they are a perfect match for our country.”
Apparently, in France, the indigenous folks did not produce enough children, so they didn’t have enough labor. On the contrary, in 2007, the United States broke the live birth record. It was first set in 1957 when there were 4.3 million Boomers. In 2007, it grew to 4,316,000 babies where 25% were Latinos.
Once Kenneth Gronbach understood the power of demographics shift, he went into 21 years of research. He eventually got to meet Dr. Nicolas Eberstadt who got his degree from Harvard University and is the State Department Demographer.
Upon comparing data, Kenneth Gronbach and Dr. Nicolas Eberstadt concluded that their findings are the same. Dr. Nicolas Eberstadt even commended Kenneth Gronbach’s research data because it combined demography and marketing, something the State Department wasn’t capable of doing.
Kenneth Gronbach also revealed that women are less likely to commit crimes compared to men. He says crime is committed by men aged between 15 to 30 years old, who are currently considered Millenials. He also forecasts that the rate will continue to rise as years pass by.
“The population of Millenials is larger than the Boomers. Most of my demographics is Generation X,” said Kenneth Gronbach. “The old end are just starting households and marrying late. They couldn’t leave home early in life because they’re not welcomed into the labor force.”
Kenneth Gronbach explains that 50% of Millenials coming out of college are unemployed. Boomers are not leaving the labor force because they couldn’t afford to. Things have indeed turned around. The Boomers are currently aged 54 to 73, and they are retiring a little bit late.
Demographics And Health
Kenneth Gronbach predicts that the health choices of Millenials will significantly impact the health industry. He says Millenials prefer cleaner food and are more inclined to GMO-free, and responsibly-sourced animal products.
“They are going to shift. I speak to farmers all the time and tell them they have to deal with GMO issues because the market is going to force them to do that,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
Between 1925 and 1944, we produced a generation called the Silent Generation. According to Kenneth Gronbach, there are only 50 million of them, and these are primarily Generation X’s parents.
The Silent Generation followed the generation before them which was the G.I. Generation from 1905 to1924. The G.I. Generation was the generation that fought in World War 2. It was a massive generation of about 70 million and following them was a tiny generation.
“So the needs and demands of the Silent Generation who were born from 1925 to 1944 were small. Then come along the Boomers who demanded more service. Generation X on the other hand, needed more labor,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
Data shows we produce enough food to feed 14 billion people and we throw half of it away. So Kenneth Gronbach believes we don’t have a food problem but rather a distribution problem.
It started when something happened in 1964. Half of the women in the world dropped below replacement level fertility which is 2.2 kids. And it never looked back. The rate of growth of our population is declining.
“We will probably grow to 10 or 12 billion by 2050 or 2060. And then the population of the earth is going to begin to subside,” said Kenneth Gronbach. “But the problem is, the majority of the earth is market economies which rely on consumers.”
In the recent Heavy Metals Summit, we saw that a lot of factors are affected by the presence of heavy metals in the environment we live in and the lifestyle we have.
So we also need to consider the outside effects on fertility when we talk of demographics. One of the external forces affecting fertility dramatically is that women are waiting to get pregnant. And the older you get, the hard it is to get pregnant.
But that’s a challenge nowadays because both parents need to work. And the added stress contributes to fertility issues.
Kenneth Gronbach says there are currently 330 million people in the US and 10 million of these are illegal. But demographers count illegals because they are in the country.
Furthermore, Kenneth Gronbach shares that the number of housing units that are available in the U.S. is about 155 million. The two most substantial parts of our population are Baby Boomers numbering to 80 million and their kids, numbering 68 million.
“A lot of people in their 20s are living at home because they are not welcome in the labor force. So they’re moving out, starting households and getting married takes longer. The problem is because a lot of Boomers are refusing to die and get old,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
Currently, Kenneth Gronbach says we are 25 million housing units short of our needs. And the demand for housing is going to spike for the next few years.
Kenneth Gronbach’s Books
Demographics is such an exciting topic, and it will make you understand how population changes generation after generation. To those who would like to know more about demographics, Kenneth Gronbach has written several books that have proved to be an excellent resource.
Kenneth Gronbach’s books include:
Whether it be through his books or speaking engagements, Kenneth Gronbach says that the primary aim of his work is to educate, entertain and inspire people.
Looking ahead, Kenneth Gronbach says that compared to any generation in history, the Millenials are going to be infinitely more respectful of each other. He also forecasts that Houston, Texas will continue to attract Millenials because of the quality of life, cost of living and job opportunities.
As far as commerce is concerned, he cites three categories where there is a significant possibility for growth:
- Healthcare – demand for better food
- Eldercare – going to be off the charts
- Deathcare- the need for more funeral homes and crematoriums
“There will be a diversity of cultures in the future. The power of shifting demography changes commerce like medicine, food, and everything that we consume,” said Kenneth Gronbach.
Kenneth Gronbach is an internationally respected demographer who has been able to forecast societal, commercial, economic, cultural and political phenomena with uncanny accuracy. His unusual blend of marketing savvy and common sense demography, based on twenty years of proprietary demographic study, set him apart. Kenneth Gronbach keynotes all over the United States and does customized demographic research.
You will find that Kenneth Gronbach’s stable position that the United States is the best Nation on earth and his firm belief that the country’s best days are ahead seasoned his spirited presentations with an apparent pro-American enthusiasm.
Kenneth Gronbach built KGA Advertising, INC., a $40 million consumer/retail advertising agency, from the ground up in the 1980’s and 1990’s. One of his clients, a fashion apparel retailer, grew from $10 million in annual sales to over $400 million on Kenneth Gronbach’s watch.
Kenneth Gronbach’s hobbies include building hot rod Mustangs and Porsches. He and his family enjoy boating and fishing on Long Island Sound.
Kenneth Gronbach graduated from California State University at Long Beach and currently lives in Connecticut with his Baby Boomer wife of 41 years and two Generation Y daughters.