Milwaukee Retail Market Report
Aging Population Underpins Local
Spending Power and Retail Performance
Stabilizing resident base aids fundamentals. After a six-year, over 1.5 percent total decline, Milwaukee’s population expanded in 2022 and is on track to repeat the feat this year as well. Looking ahead, as the overall population grows, the composition among age cohorts is expected to change. While the 55 and older demographic continues to expand moving forward, the 20- to 34-year-old population subset sustains notable outflows. A larger share of older residents may bolster retail sales in the long-run as this age cohort typically has higher incomes and discretionary purchasing power. This is reflected by household income growth, which is expected to expand at a faster rate than its historical average in 2023, leading to accelerated retail sales growth over the next three years.