Saturday, September 15, 2012

Older Americans 2012 Federal Report

Photo by Wolfgang.
Thanks to the rigors of my graduate program, I have been compelled to read materials that are outside my comfort zone as a retired English teacher.

I read the quantitative research of economists, policy analysts and actuaries--all of whom compile and evaluate statistics. Surprisingly, I've developed an interest in these materials.

While you might recoil at reading data-heavy documents, I invite you read at least some of this report generated by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.


The report (just click the title of the report in the text above) is actually relatively accessible because the authors primarily use images coupled with bullet points of data.

Established in 1986, this forum brought together the resources of several federal agencies in order to better focus on the experiences and needs of our nation's older adults. Every two years since 2000, they have published this detailed, yet far-ranging report. 

This report contains data and analysis for 37 Indicators of Well Being are listed within on of these main areas:
  • Population
  • Economics
  • Health Statistics
  • Health Risks and Behaviors
  • Health Care
  • Special Features
If you only read one page of the report, read the page labeled "Highlights," which presents a handful of trends supported with statistics in the body of the report. For example, here is a highlight from the Economics section:

"Over the past four decades, labor force participation rates have risen for women age 55 and over. This trend continued during the recent recession. Among men age 55 and over, the rise in participation rates that started in the mid-1990s also has continued, although to a smaller extent. As “Baby Boomers” approach older ages, they are remaining in the labor force at higher rates than previous generations (See “Indicator 11: Participation in the Labor Force”)." (emphasis added)

I recognize that I am not blogging for policy analysts, politicians, business owners (such as insurance executives and stock brokers), or city planners--who are probably the primary readers of these reports.  Nevertheless, as the "Graying of America" takes place over the next 30 years, each of us will be affected by changes on the macro level. We will see significant changes to the economy, to government programs, to the media and even to our places of worship.

Related:

More Seniors than Ever: Population Pyramids
Long-Term Care More Probable as We Age
Don't Retire, Retrain: Decreasing the Dependency Ratio

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