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Number of U.S. Elderly Will Double by 2050

Posted on Fri, May 16, 2014

Aging baby boomers will strain country's health care system, Census Bureau says

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be almost twice as many elderly Americans in 2050 as there are now, posing serious issues for the nation's health care system, according to two U.S. Census Bureau reports released Tuesday.

The number of people aged 65 and older is projected to reach 83.7 million by 2050, compared with 43.1 million in 2012, the bureau reported. This sharp rise is due to aging baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964 and began turning 65 in 2011.

As the population ages, the ratio of working-age Americans to retirees will change as well. According to the bureau, there were 22 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people in 2012. However, by 2030, that will rise to 35 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people, which means there will be about three working-age people for every person aged 65 and older.

"The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030," Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Population Projections Branch at the census bureau, said in an agency news release.

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