2016 Eastman Survey reveals demographic trends

There’s a changing narrative about Eastman. A recent version you may have heard was: Eastman is changing! Younger families working in the area, many with younger kids, are making Eastman their primary home. We have more full-time residents, more busy families, and more children.

The Eastman Community Association (ECA) has surveyed Members with the help of RSG, Inc., a nationally recognized survey research firm located in White River Junction, VT, three times beginning in 2007. Most recently, from the results of the Fall 2016 survey, we can see that the narrative above is changing.

While Eastman began with a greater focus on second home ownership, there has been a shift over the years to owners making their primary home at Eastman. This trend was evident through 2007, but it has been flat at 60% for the last decade. The owner population has been getting older, not younger, over the interval since 2010. It is not just growing older, as we all do from one year to the next; newcomers to Eastman over the past six years have been older than those leaving. As in every community, there is turnover; the ECA’s rate is about 5% per year. With 1400+ properties in Eastman, this is about 70 newcomers per year.

We can see further demographic shifts by looking at this segmentation of Eastman owners, broken down by three categorizations:

  • Those who live here (defined as those spending at least 2/3 of the year at Eastman)
  • Those who work full-time (defined as households with one or more adults working or seeking to work full-time)
  • Families with children (defined as one or more children 18 or younger)

Changes seen from 2010 to 2016:

  • The same proportion of owners living here (about 60%).
  • Fewer families working full-time (now 49.1%, down from 56.8%) and, correspondingly, more retirees.
  • Fewer families with children (now 17.6% compared to 21.7% in 2010), but the largest shift has been the decline of weekend residents with children (now 5.0%, down from 9.4% in 2010).
  • A steady proportion of residents living here, working, with children (10.8% vs. 11.8%, not a significant change). This is the group that was increasing in the old narrative.

All this leads to a new narrative for Eastman: Eastman is a community with young and old, working and retired. Sixty percent of owners live here; for the other forty percent, Eastman is a second home used either seasonally, part-time throughout the year, or for weekends and vacations. The community is attracting more retirees, and there are young families with children. All this makes Eastman an attractive, intergenerational community.

Use this link to view the final survey report.

Richard and Karla Karash, who wrote this release, served as co-chairs of the 2016 Survey Steering Committee. Both have professional credentials in survey research from their education and working careers.

 

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