Seniors in the Future: The Changing Census

Oct 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

An article in Thursday’s New York Times reveals a set of statistics which gives pause to the senior citizen or baby boomer facing retirement.

It is authored by Sam Roberts and flies under Jane Gross’ column, “The New Old Age.” Well researched and sharply poignant, the article helps us understand the demographics of aging over the next almost 50 years.

Roberts begins by pointing out that today 13% of Americans are over 65. By 2030, that figure will more than double to 89 million. By 2025, those achieving the centenarian mark will rise from 80,000 today to 175k then. In 2035, those 85 and over will jump from 5 million now to 11.5 million then. And, in the 2020’s deaths will outnumber births among whites.

Starting to get the idea? The rumblings of such change have been growing for the past 50 years and more. The demographic changes in the American landscape will alter almost everything. No protests, bills in Congress, personal disbelief or reluctance to accommodate these figures will change the shift which will touch us all. Cultural, political, educational, geographic, financial and every other category of human activity will be included in this seismic shift.

More, by 2050, the median age among non-Hispanic whites will be 44.6%/ In other words whites will no longer dominate the majority population. Our son and daughter will be 83 and 84 respectively by then. Their attitudes today suggest they will have adjusted well to these dynamics. Those who don’t or can’t will likely end up miserable.

The population of Asians by then will represent 43.4%; African Americans (identified as blacks in the article) will be 38.9% and Hispanics, 31.2%.

So, get on board, little children, the train is pulling out from the station as we speak. It behooves all of us to examine our own perspectives on a multi cultural, likely bi lingual, and rainbow population as we will be compelled to participate in the shifting sands of the American population. I suggest it is certainly not too early to start, or even for those past 65, not too late!

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