The Aging of Americans

The United States Census Bureau recently released an interesting report that paints a picture of an aging population in America. According to the report, it predicts that older people will outnumber younger Americans by the year 2035. The Bureau is expecting the population to reach 78 million people older than 65, while there will be about 76.4 million under age 18. This prediction is significant because it would become the first time in U.S. history that there would be more older residents than children, largely in part to the baby boom of the 1950s and 1960s that has helped keep our population young. However, in 2030, all Baby Boomers will be older than 65.

Japan and some European countries are already experiencing a shrinking population, but this would be something new for the United States. The population decrease is due to people having fewer children and there being longer life expectancy for Americans.

The census predictions indicate that the percentage of older Americans will grow from 15% to 21% of the population. By 2060, it says that nearly one in four Americans will be age 65 or older.  These staggering statistics could surely have some negative repercussions on the population and economy. There are concerns about healthcare options, more need for caregivers and the question of the future of the Social Security program.

Another concern as Baby Boomers age will be the workload put upon the Sandwich Generation, or the sector of the population tasked with caring for aging parents as well as raising their own children at the same time; they are literally sandwiched between generations, and are usually in their 30s and 40s. The term was introduced in the social work field around 1981, but officially made it into the modern dictionary in 2006.


graph of age groups in america


To read the full report from America Counts, click here.