Senior Citizen Population in U.S. to
Double in 20 Years: Boomers Fuel Growth; Nation Multi-Colored
Census Bureau releases two reports
about older people in the United States; Pew Research finds nation
also becoming multi-colored.
U.S. Also Becoming
Multi-Colored, Finds Pew
"At the same time our population is going gray, were also
becoming multi-colored. In 1960, the population of the United
States was 85% white; by 2060, it will be only 43% white. We
were once a black and white country. Now, were a rainbow." -
Pew Research also released reports this month on changes in the
May 6, 2014 - The nation's
65-and-older population is projected to reach 83.7 million in the year
2050, almost double in size from the 2012 level of 43.1 million,
according to two reports released today from the U.S. Census Bureau. A
large part of this growth is due to the aging of baby boomers
(individuals born in the United States between mid-1946 and mid-1964),
who began turning 65 in 2011 and are now driving growth at the older
ages of the population.
The first new report, An Aging Nation: The
Older Population in the United States, looks at the
demographic changes to the 65-and-older population that will comprise 21
percent of the U.S. population in 2050 and the impact that these changes
will have on the composition of the total population.
"The United States is projected to
age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population
age 65 and over by 2030," said Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Census
Bureau's Population Projections Branch.
"Changes in the age structure of
the U.S. population will have implications for health care services and
providers, national and local policymakers, and businesses seeking to
anticipate the influence that this population may have on their
services, family structure and the American landscape."
Census Bureau statistics have
already shown growth in health care-related industries. In 2011, the
Patterns statistics showed the health care and social
assistance sector as one of the largest in the U.S. with about 819,000
This sector includes home and
health care services, community care facilities for the older
population, and continuing care retirement communities, which all showed
an increase of 20 percent or more in their number of employees between
2007 and 2011. New 2012 County Business Patterns statistics will be
available by the end of May.
In addition, the Census Bureau's
recent release of population estimates showed The Villages, Fla. - home
to a large retirement community - was the nation's fastest growing metro
area from 2012 to 2013.
Population Growing More Diverse
Although the older population is
not as racially and ethnically diverse as the younger population, it is
projected to experience a substantial increase in diversity over the
next four decades.
The 65-and-older population is
projected to be 39.1 percent minority in 2050, up from 20.7 percent in
The 85-and-older population is
projected to be 29.7 percent minority in 2050, up from 16.3 percent in
In 2012, there were 22 people
65 and older for every 100 working-age people in the U.S. By comparison,
in 2030, there will be 35 people 65 and older for every 100 working-age
people. This means there will be approximately three working-age people
for every person 65 and older.
After 2030, the number of
people 65 and older for every 100 working-age people in the U.S
continues to increase slightly to 36 by 2050.
The proportion of the total
population 65 and older is projected to increase in all developed
countries between 2012 and 2030.Although the United States is projected
to age over this period,
it will remain one of
the younger developed countries with only 20 percent of its
population 65 and over in 2030.
The majority of the growth in the
65-and-older population is projected to occur between 2012 and 2030 as
the baby boomers enter the older age group.
When the first of the baby
boomers turned 65 in 2011, there were just under 77 million people in
the baby boom ages.
The baby boom population is
projected to drop to 60 million by 2030 and to only 2.4 million by 2060.
By 2060, the youngest baby
boomers will be 96 years old.
In 2012, baby boomers comprised
24.3 percent of the U.S. population.
As baby boomers age, their
share of the population is projected to decrease to 16.7 percent in 2030
and 3.9 percent in 2050.
Although the baby boom population
will decline in the coming decades through mortality, trends in
fertility, mortality, and international migration will sustain the
proportion of the population in the older ages within the U.S.
Declines in births will lead to
slower growth at the youngest ages, while decreases in mortality rates
result in longer life expectancies and increases in the number of people
living longer, resulting in growth of the 65-and-older population.
the 2012 National Population Projections
Program produces projections of the U.S. resident population by age,
sex, race and Hispanic origin for July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2060. The
2012 national projections are based on the 2010 Census and official
estimates for July 1, 2011.
The projections were produced using
a cohort-component method and are based on assumptions about future
births, deaths and net international migration. These reports include
projected data for 2013 to 2060, with the Census Bureau's official
population estimates used for 2012. When both estimates and projections
are available, as is the case for 2012, estimates are the preferred
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