|Photo by Sam Howzit.|
Here are some highlights from a May 2014 report An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States published by the United States Census Bureau. The report compares 2012 statistics on age, gender, and race and makes projections to 2030 and 2050.
This report interests me because these are years that I was 50, will be 68 and will be 88 (God willing). And I'm one of the youngest Baby Boomers, so that will tell you how this large cohort will be aging in the next few decades.
But enough about me. Let's look at some of the report's numbers.
The U.S. Population as a whole is projected to grow from 314 million in 2012 to 400 million in 2050.
Those 65 and older in the US will grow from 13.7% of the population in 2012 to 20.9% in 2050.
Those 85 and over are projected to grow from 1.9% of the population in 2012 to 4.5% in 2050.
The aggregated minority population is projected to become the majority in 2043.
Here are some specific projections for race.
- Whites were 86% of those 65 and older in 2012. They are projected to fall to 82.2% by 2030 and fall again to 77.3% by 2050.
- Asians were only 3.8% of those 65 and older in 2012. They are projected to rise to 4.8% in 2030 and rise again to 7.1% in 2050.
- Blacks were only 8.8% of those 65 and older in 2012. They are projected to rise to 10.7% in 2030 and rise again to 12.3% by 2050.
- Hispanics were only 7.3% of those 65 and older in 2012. They are projected to rise to 11% in 2030 and rise again to 18.4% in 2050.
The dependency ratio (those of working age vs dependent children or retired older adults) will shift. When Boomers where children in 1960, the dependency ration was 65 children and 17 older adults to every 100 working adult. By 2050, the projections are 37 children and 36 older adults to every 100 working adults.
The focus of this post is on US projections; however, the report also makes projections for several other foreign countries. Most notably, China, India and Indonesia are projected to have significant growth in their aging populations. See the report for more details about these countries.
These numbers lead to questions about how the United States will have enough funding and services to support their aging population. I don't have easy answers, but I hope that we can work together to increase quality of life and increase support to family caregivers and increase training and funding to formal caregivers.
Life Span vs. Life Expectancy