With aging baby boomers leading the way, older Americans will outnumber children in this country in less than two decades, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.
Those age 65 and older will overtake the number and percentage of those under age 18 by 2035 as the population of older Americans will more than double, from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. In addition, those age 65 and older are living longer, working longer, and more educated than past generations. Simply put, “boomers will not get old,” as demographer, author, futurist (and boomer himself) Kenneth W. Gronbach has declared.
Baby boomers seeking to stave off their own mortality will create what Gronbach terms “20 years of overwhelming demand for health care” as they age. That’s because boomers, while generally healthier than their parents’ generation, also are more likely to be obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure, and be less active than younger age groups, among other health concerns. Although their quest for a fountain of youth may not pan out, boomers and the growing number of older Americans will succeed in helping to reshape healthcare.
By Todd Nelson | MD&DI