Skip to Main Content

++

Demographics

++

The Graying of America

++

  • The growth rate of the population 65 years and older exceeded the growth rate of the total population when baby boomers began reaching age 65 in 2011.

  • Starting in 2012, nearly 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day and by 2030 20% of the population will be 65 and older.

  • The "oldest old"—those aged 85 and over—are one of the fastest growing age groups: currently, the oldest old are 10% of the elderly population and 1% of the total U.S. population. By 2050, the oldest old are projected to be 24% of elderly population and 5% of the total U.S. population.

  • In the United States, the elderly population is more racially diverse than in the past. In 2000, 16.5% of the elderly population was nonwhite or Hispanic; this percentage is expected to increase to about 31% by 2040.

  • The average 75-year-old has three chronic conditions and takes five different prescription drugs.

  • In the United States, the growing percentage of elderly people will have enormous effects on the distribution and cost of health care. Two-thirds of current health-care costs in older adults are for treating chronic illnesses.

  • In 2001, chronic diseases were the leading causes of death among older adults.

+

 

+

Based on:

++

Beers, MH, and Berkow, R (eds): Merck Manual of Geriatrics, ed. 3. Merck Research Laboratories, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 2000, section 1, chapter 2, Demographics (updated September 2005). website: http://www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/sec1/ch2/ch2a.jsp. Accessed July 20, 2009. Merck Institute of Aging and Health. The State of Aging and Health in America 2004. http://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/State of Aging and Health in America 2004.pdf. Accessed July 20, 2009.

++
Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 9.1Proportion of Persons ≥ 65 Years and ≥ 85 Years in the Population Including Projections Through 2040 (number in thousands)
++
Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 9.2Leading Causes of Death Among Persons 65 and Older in 2002

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.