Boomers by the Numbers

This Thursday, CNBC will premier its new documentaryon the Baby Boomer generation, hosted by Tom Brokaw. Here are some facts and figures to show why the Boomers are history's wealthiest and most influential generation.

The Baby Boomers represent the generation born after World War II in the years between 1946-1964. With just under 80 million Americans born during that period, the Boomers represent over 26% of the US population and have had huge influence on American policy, business and life.

The states with the greatest number of Boomers are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania while the states with the highest proportion of Boomers includes Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Montana and Connecticut.

According to the latest employment data (Jan 2010 Household Survey), ~75% of the Boomers are participating in the labor force and have an unemployment rate of ~8%. This compares to the rest of the US population with an unemployment rate hovering around 10%. The Boomers are also the top earners in the US, with the younger half of the group maintaining average household incomes over $80,000 per year.

With the recent economic downturn, many Boomers may continue to work over the next few years to offset some of the losses to their nest eggs. Nonetheless, a recent study by McKinsey & Company shows that more than half of all investable assets are owned by Boomers, giving them continued influence on Wall St. and particularly amongst asset managers that are trying to meet their needs. Just as many businesses over the years have positioned their services to capture share of this large demographic group, so too asset managers will need to shift their focus from wealth accumulation to wealth preservation products and services.