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Senior Citizen Longevity & Statistics

Senior Citizen Population on Brink of Explosion in World and in United States: Census Bureau

U.S. seniors may increase by 40% in five years, world senior age group to triple by 2050

June 24, 2009 – The U.S. Census Bureau has released data over several recent days that highlight to staggering boom in the senior citizen population in the world and nation. In the U.S., the senior citizen population appears to be headed to a 40 percent increase in the next five years. The world’s 65-and-older population is projected to triple by midcentury, from 516 million in 2009 to 1.53 billion in 2050.

 

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In contrast, the world population under 15 is expected to increase by only 6 percent during the same period, from 1.83 billion to 1.93 billion.

In the U.S., the population 65 and older will more than double by 2050, rising from 39 million today to 89 million. While children are projected to still outnumber the older population worldwide in 2050, the under 15 population in the United States is expected to fall below the older population by that date, increasing from 62 million today to 85 million.

These figures come from the world population estimates and projections released today through the Census Bureau’s International Data Base. This latest update includes projections by age, including people 100 and older, for 227 countries and areas.

Less than 8 percent of the world’s population is 65 and older. By 2030, the world’s population 65 and older is expected to reach 12 percent, and by 2050, that share is expected to grow to 16 percent.

“This shift in the age structure of the world’s population poses challenges to society, families, businesses, health care providers and policymakers to meet the needs of aging individuals,” said Wan He, demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division.

From 2009 to 2050, the world’s 85 and older population is projected to increase more than fivefold, from 40 million to 219 million. Because women generally live longer than men, they account for slightly more than half of the older population and represent nearly two-thirds of the 85 and older population.

Europe likely will continue to be the oldest region in the world: by 2050, 29 percent of its total population is projected to be 65 and older. On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain the youngest region as a result of relatively higher fertility and, in some nations, the impact of HIV/AIDS. Only 5 percent of Africa’s population is projected to be 65 and older in 2050.

Countries experiencing relatively rapid declines in fertility combined with longer life spans will face increasingly older populations. These countries will see the highest growth rates in their older populations over the next 40 years.

There are four countries with 20 percent or more of their population 65 and older: Germany, Italy, Japan and Monaco. By 2030, 55 countries are expected to have at least one-in-five of their total population in this age category; by 2050, the number of countries could rise to more than 100.

Although China and India are the world’s most populous countries, their older populations do not represent large percentages of their total populations today. However, these countries do have the largest number of older people — 109 million and 62 million, respectively. Both countries are projected to undergo more rapid aging, and by 2050, will have about 350 million and 240 million people 65 and older, respectively.

The International Data Base offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with populations of 5,000 or more. It provides information on population size and growth, age and sex composition, mortality, fertility and net migration.

U.S. Baby Boomers Lined Up at the Door to Jump into Senior Ranks

The senior citizen - age 65 and older - population in the US was 36,789,000 in 2008, just 12.3% of the nation’s population. But, flooding into the senior ranks are 14.931 million baby boomers age 60 through 64. This narrow age bracket is 5% of the total US population. Assuming we all live another five years, they will increase the senior ranks by 40%. The senior citizen population will jump from 36.8 million to 51.7 million.

U.S. Population by Age and Sex: 2008

(Numbers in thousands. Civilian noninstitutionalized population1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age

Both sexes

Male

Female

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

All ages

299,106

100.0

146,855

100.0

152,250

100.0

   .Under 55 years

229,014

76.6

115,014

78.3

113,999

74.9

   .55 to 59 years

18,371

6.1

8,929

6.1

9,442

6.2

   .60 to 64 years

14,931

5.0

7,150

4.9

7,781

5.1

   .65 to 69 years

11,165

3.7

5,238

3.6

5,928

3.9

   .70 to 74 years

8,423

2.8

3,740

2.5

4,683

3.1

   .75 to 79 years

7,353

2.5

3,200

2.2

4,154

2.7

   .80 to 84 years

5,559

1.9

2,106

1.4

3,453

2.3

   .85 years and over

4,289

1.4

1,479

1.0

2,810

1.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   .Under 55 years

229,014

76.6

115,014

78.3

113,999

74.9

   .55 years and over

70,092

23.4

31,841

21.7

38,251

25.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   .Under 60 years

247,385

82.7

123,943

84.4

123,441

81.1

   .60 years and over

51,721

17.3

22,912

15.6

28,809

18.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   .Under 62 years

254,326

85.0

127,292

86.7

127,034

83.4

   .62 years and over

44,780

15.0

19,563

13.3

25,216

16.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   .Under 65 years

262,316

87.7

131,093

89.3

131,222

86.2

   .65 years and over

36,790

12.3

15,762

10.7

21,028

13.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   .Under 75 years

281,904

94.2

140,071

95.4

141,833

93.2

   .75 years and over

17,202

5.8

6,785

4.6

10,417

6.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1Plus armed forces living off post or with their families on post.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2008.

Internet release date: June 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor's note: The International Data Base can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/ .

Older Population in the United States: 2007 and 2008 — A series of detailed tables with data on a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of people 55 and older. Topics covered include marital status, educational attainment, nativity and citizenship status, labor force and employment status, occupation, earnings, poverty and housing tenure. The data, collected by the Current Population Survey, pertain to the noninstitutionalized population and are shown for selected age groups. Internet addresses: <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/age/age_sex_older.html>.

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