Focusing on home building is a mistake

January 11, 2022

The county council is focusing on home building, thereby missing the bigger picture of our future.

The biggest issue of our time is global warming and its potential destruction of most of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Yet, there is a second big shift that no one is talking about: the nation’s huge demographic shift. Let me begin by explaining the Pew Research definition of generations:

• Baby Boomers - 1946-64, current ages 57-75

• Generation X - 1965-80, current ages 41-56

• Millennials - 1981-96, current ages 25-40

• Gen Z - 1997-?.

At the turn of the century, there was an average of 400-plus people per month moving into Sussex County, the average age of 52. At that time, there were 72 million Baby Boomers in the nation and 65 million in Generation X. It was the Baby Boomers who were coming here as well as a small percentage of Generation X.

It is projected that by 2050, less than 30 years from now, there will be fewer than 12 million Baby Boomers (who will be searching for senior facilities, not new homes) and 50 million Generation X. The national drop in potential new home and retirement houses will have dropped from 85-plus million to approximately 50 million. Do the math. We will have nationally lost 35 million home seekers.

Why would anyone invest in a home in Sussex County if their turnover possibilities will be very limited in the future?

How about recognizing data? The big issue is saving our current land and people by building as many buffer-related spaces as we can. Get real.

Dr. Nancy Feichtl
Rehoboth Beach
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