For business demographers, a noteworthy aspect of national population aging is the course of its onset at local scales, such as neighborhoods and individual city blocks. Across the U. S., particular neighborhoods are evolving through aging in place into de facto retirement communities, populated by elderly residents who continue to live independently. An increasingly common manifestation of this development is the so-called naturally occurring retirement community (NORC)—a neighborhood where adults have stayed on and grown old while younger people have drifted away. NORCs materialize gradually over time where initial cohorts settle in close proximity and age in place, while subsequent younger cohorts move away. These settings offer novel opportunities for prolonging independent living in old age. They constitute distinctive readymade consumer markets as well, especially for businesses that rely on word of mouth. We present a general approach to spotting NORCs. We then consider such enclaves as potential target markets, both for community planners aiming to centralize service delivery to the elderly and for businesses offering types of services that can be bundled profitably for these residential concentrations of elderly.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 10, 2009
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