By Rieva Lesonsky

The U.S. population is changing. Your business needs to change with it.

Last week Manta reported that only 15 percent of small businesses were specifically targeting Millennial customers. A new report (covering up to July 1, 2014) from the U.S. Census Bureau shows how huge a mistake this is. Millennials, otherwise known as Gen Y, were born between 1982 and 2000—and there are 83.1 million of them. That makes Gen Y the biggest American generation ever, exceeding the 75.4 million Baby Boomers.

Not only are Millennials numerous, but they’re also diverse—44.2 percent are part of a minority group—though they’re not as diverse as the youngest Americans. Kids younger than 5 years old are the first majority-minority group in the U.S., with just over 50 percent of them “being part of a minority race or ethnic group.” Overall, minorities make up 37.9 percent of the U.S. population—and Hawaii; Washington, D.C.; California; New Mexico and Texas have majority-minority populations.

We all know about the many opportunities that exist catering to America’s seniors, and those are growing. As of last July, there were 46.2 million Americans age 65 and older. Proving the cliché, Florida had the highest percentage of these folks in its population (19.1 percent), while Alaska had the lowest percentage (9.4 percent).

If you market mostly to males, there are 10 states with more men than women, led by Alaska and North Dakota. Conversely, Washington, D.C., and Delaware have more women than men.

And if you’re looking for the true “melting pot” of America, look at Los Angeles County. L.A. County has the most Hispanics (4.9 million), Asians (1.7 million), Native Americans (235,ooo) and non-Hispanic whites (2.7 million). Cook County, IL, had the largest African American population (1.3 million).

Finally, the median age in five states declined (meaning the population there is getting younger): North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Iowa. Meanwhile, Maine led the nation in getting older.


Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+   and