Friday, January 18, 2013

Aging America, Growing Need for Care

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their 2012 Population Projections, which paint an interesting picture of how the country will age in the near future. Here are the highlights:
  • The population age 65 and older is expected to more than double between 2012 and 2060, from 43.1 million to 92.0 million.
  • The older population would represent just over 1 in 5 U.S. residents by the end of the period, up from one in seven today.
  • In 2056, for the first time, the older population, age 65 and over, is projected to outnumber the young, age under 18.
  • The increase in the number of the “oldest old” would be even more dramatic:
    • Those 85 and older are projected to more than triple from 5.9 million to 18.2 million, reaching 4.3 percent of the total population.
  • Baby boomers, defined as persons born between 1946 and 1964, number 76.4 million in 2012 and account for about one-quarter of the population.
    • In 2060, when the youngest of them would be 96 years old, they are projected to number around 2.4 million and represent 0.6 percent of the total population.
  • Projections show the older population would continue to be predominately non-Hispanic white, while younger ages are increasingly minority.
    • Of those age 65 and older in 2060, 56.0 percent are expected to be non-Hispanic white, 21.2 percent Hispanic and 12.5 percent non-Hispanic black.
While not surprising, the Census reminds us of the important role that long term and post-acute care will play in the very near future, especially for the “oldest old.”

For more information on choosing, planning and preparing for long term and post-acute care, check out Care Conversations.

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