Number of US elderly will double by 2050, report says

Number of U.S. elderly will double by 2050: report
Aging Baby Boomers will strain country's health care system, Census Bureau says.

(HealthDay)— There will be almost twice as many elderly Americans in 2050 as there are now, posing serious issues for the nation's health care system, according to two U.S. Census Bureau reports released Tuesday.

"The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030," Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Population Projections Branch at the , said in an agency news release.

The number of people aged 65 and older is projected to reach 83.7 million by 2050, compared with 43.1 million in 2012, the bureau reported. This sharp rise is due to aging , who were born between 1946 and 1964 and began turning 65 in 2011.

An aging population "will have implications for services and providers, national and local policymakers," Ortman added. She said businesses will also have to adapt to meet new demands as a rising number of elderly influences both the "family structure and the American landscape."

Baby boomer-influenced growth in health-care related industries began a few years ago, the agency said. According to the census bureau, there were about 819,000 health and social assistance-related facilities and businesses in 2011—a 20 percent jump from 2007.

As the population ages, the ratio of working-age Americans to retirees will change as well. According to the bureau, there were 22 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people in 2012. However, by 2030, that will rise to 35 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people, which means there will be about 3 working-age people for every person aged 65 and older.

By 2050, there will be 36 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people.

But the Baby Boom generation will also begin to fade in influence, as well. According to the bureau, the number of boomers will decline to 60 million by 2030 and to only 2.4 million by 2060, when the youngest boomers will be 96 years old.

Baby boomers accounted for about 24 percent of the U.S. population in 2012. That will decrease to about 17 percent in 2030 and about 4 percent in 2050, the bureau said.

These trends are a global phenomenon, the bureau noted, with people aged 65 and over accounting for a rising percentage of the populations of all developed nations over the next two decades. Seen from that perspective, the United States is expected to remain one of the "younger" developed countries during this time, with people aged 65 and older accounting for only about a fifth of its .

More information: The U.S. National Institute on Aging offers tips for healthy aging.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Older americans living longer, but becoming more obese

Aug 16, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Older Americans are living longer, healthier lives than in past generations, according to new government research. However, rising obesity rates and high housing costs could take a toll on ...

Accident rates improving for older US drivers

Feb 20, 2014

Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the aging U.S. population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they' have been proved wrong.

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

2 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

3 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

Taking preventive health care into community spaces

4 hours ago

A church. A city park. An office. These are not the typical settings for a medical checkup. But a new nationwide study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that providing health services in ...

User comments