Census: Nation’s Oldest Population Growth Driving Health Care Needs Nationwide

The nation’s population is getting older, and fast. The age group who are 65 and older is expected to near double in size over the next 20 years, according to two new reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, reaching 83.7 million in 2050 up from 43.1 million in 2012. 

“The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030,” said Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Projections Branch in a press release. “Changes in the age structure of the U.S. population will have implications for health care services and providers, national and local policymakers, and businesses seeking to anticipate the influence that this population may have on their services, family structure and the American landscape.”

Among the Census findings about the population, the demographic is becoming more diverse with the 65 and older population projected to be 39.1% ethnic minority in 2050, up from 20.7% in 2012. 

The baby boom is largely driving the shift, the Census reports, and will drop substantially by 2030, but comprised around 77 million as of the latest Census data reported on the population in 2011. 

The population growth among the aging group will drive national trends in health care, and has already begun to do so. With 819,000 establishments, the health care a social assistance sector is one of the largest in the U.S., the Census noted, including home and health care services, community care facilities for the aging population and continuing care retirement communities. 

The Villages, Florida, the Census noted, was the nation’s fastest growing metro from 2012 to 2013. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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