Nebraskans 50-plus are set to fuel state's economic growth until 2050

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Nebraska’s 50-plus population creates an outsize economic impact that will help the state’s economy recover from the pandemic and drive economic growth for the next 30 years, according to new research from AARP.

AARP’s Longevity Economy Outlook research report details the positive economic impact of Nebraska’s increasing number of residents over the age of 50. Their contributions to the state’s total GDP will more than triple from $50 billion in 2018 to $156 billion in 2050.

“People age 50 and older are consumers, workers, business owners, volunteers and family caregivers. They create an economic impact much greater than their proportion of the state’s population,” says Todd Stubbendieck, state director of AARP Nebraska.

Even after accounting for the impact of COVID-19, Nebraska’s aging population will continue to make economic and social contributions that benefit people of all ages, and the growth of this age group will fuel innovation and new market solutions. The 50-plus cohort will grow from 34 percent of the population in 2018 to 38 percent in 2050.

 “Future generations of older Nebraskans are expected to live longer, healthier and more active lives. Demographic changes of such magnitude create a tremendous opportunity for the state of Nebraska,” Stubbendieck says. “Policymakers, business leaders and elected officials must ensure programs and policies are in place to grow this economic engine.”

The report’s key findings include:

Outsize economic impact: In 2018, people age 50+ represented 34 percent of Nebraska’s population, but contributed 39 percent - or $50 billion – of the state’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Their contributions to the state’s total GDP will more than triple to $156 billion in 2050.

Growing tax revenue stream: People age 50+ generated $3.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2018, representing 36 percent of the state’s total budget. By 2050, that amount will grow to more than $13 billion.

Job creation: The economic activities of people 50+ supported 566,000 jobs in 2018, representing 42 percent of the total number of jobs in Nebraska. By 2050, people 50+ will support 619,000 jobs in Nebraska.

Job and business income creation: The economic activities of people 50+ generated $33 billion in wages, salaries and business income in 2018. By 2050, older Nebraskans will generate $96 billion.

Caregiving: In 2018, Nebraskans age 50+ contributed 250 hours, on average, per year caring for loved ones, at a value of $2.2 billion.

Volunteering: In 2018, Nebraskans age 50+ were engaged in 113 hours on average per year of volunteer work at a value of $1.4 billion.

For more information about the report, visit