Older adults will outnumber children for first time in U.S. history in 2035, Census Bureau says

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Older adults will outnumber children for first time in U.S. history in 2035, Census Bureau says
Older adults will outnumber children for first time in U.S. history in 2035, Census Bureau says

Anyone with a calculator and knowledge of the widely held parameters of the baby boom generation (1946 to 1964) could tell you that all baby boomers will have turned 65 by the end of the year 2029 or earlier.

But a report issued last week by the U.S. Census Bureau makes clear just how transformative the following decades will be.

“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the bureau, said in a statement. “By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18.”

By comparison, in 2016, there were an estimated 49.2 million older adults compared with 73.6 million children aged fewer than 18 years. But the milestone reached in 2030 will continue: In 2060, those aged 65 or more years will number 94.7 million, whereas those aged fewer than 18 years will total 79.8 million.

Once the youngest boomers hit the traditional retirement age, the total older population will expand to one of every five residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 National Population Projections. As the population ages, the ratio of older adults to working-age adults, also known as the old-age dependency ratio, is projected to increase from 3.5:1 in 2020 to 2.5:1 in 2060, the report stated.

See also, “Demographic Turning Points for the United States: Population Projections for 2020 to 2060.”

An Aging Nation: Projected Number of Children and Older Adults[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

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