For the first time in history those 65 and over are expected to exceed the number of children in U.S.
By the year 2035, Americans age 65 and older are forecast to outnumber kids for the first time. The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that the population of older adults will surpass children by almost two million in 2035, after increasing almost five million to 78 million. The growth rate of the population of children, those under age 18, is projected to be much slower.
The U.S. will join other countries with large aging populations - Jonathan Vespa, U.S. Census Bureau
This change in demographics is now developing in the U.S., however the trend in other countries, notably Japan and some nations in Europe, is already well underway.
Some countries in Western Europe have populations that are older than in the U.S., especially in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. Countries in Eastern Europe are even further along and, within a few years, many of their populations are projected to begin shrinking.
Why Is This Age Shifting Happening
In the past higher fertility rates and significant international migration have helped stave off an aging population and the country has remained younger as a result. But this appears to be changing. Americans are having fewer children and the baby boom of the 1950s and 1960s has not yet been repeated. Fewer babies, plus longer life expectancy, equals a United States that is aging faster.
The driving force behind America’s aging is the baby boomers - They swelled the ranks of the young when they were born and then the workforce as they entered adulthood.
Now, the Baby Boomer generation will expand the number of older adults as they age. Starting in 2030, when all boomers will be older than 65, older Americans will make up 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today.
By 2060, nearly one in four Americans will be 65 years and older, the number of 85-plus will triple, and the country will add a half million centenarians (over 100 years old).
The Results Of The Senior Shift
With this swelling of the number of older adults, the U.S. could see greater demands for healthcare, in-home caregiving and assisted living facilities, nursing homes and other senior living options such as Adult Foster Care homes and Board and Care homes. It could also affect Social Security. It is projected that there will be three-and-a-half working-age adults for every older person eligible for Social Security in 2020. By 2060, that number is expected to fall to two-and-a-half working-age adults for every older person.
By 2030, it is projected that more than 60% of this generation will be managing more than 1 chronic condition. Managing these chronic conditions, along with a patient’s level of disability, will increase the financial demands on our health care system. The cost of health care may increase with the number of chronic conditions being treated, taking into account the expected twice as many hospital admissions and physician visits for Baby Boomers by 2030. There are certain health conditions that are expected to be a challenge to our health care system with the increasing aging population. These conditions include cancer, dementia, increase in the number of falls, obesity, and diabetes.
Another result of the Senior Shift will be a historic increase in the number of deaths every year.
Deaths are projected to reach more than 3.6 million in 2037, 1 million more than in 2015. As the nation’s baby boomers age, the number and percentage of people who die will increase dramatically every year, peaking in 2055 before leveling off gradually.
Other results of an aging America will present challenges to labor markets, government tax collections, government spending and the wider economy.
And as this trend of increased percentages of older Americans continues, the U.S. is fast heading towards a demographic first. It will become grayer than ever before as older adults outnumber kids.
See The Census Bereau Story HERE