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Senior population expected to double by 2050

May 8, 2014

The baby boomer population - or those born between the years of 1946 and 1964 - is currently the largest generation not only alive today, but in the entirety of U.S. history as well. The last of the boomers will turn 50 this year - and while the oldest individuals in this group have only just begun to turn 65, the Census Bureau predicted that by 2050, the adult population over the age of 65 will double. 

There are currently 43.1 million adults 65 and older living in the U.S., but by 2050, the agency predicted there will be more than 83.7 million seniors. This is due, in part, to the large number of boomers projected to join this age range. As of 2012, boomers accounted for nearly 25 percent of the nation's total population - and by 2050, nearly one in every five adults will be over the age of 65.

To meet the rising needs of individuals in this age range, the government will have to change according to Jennifer Ortman, the chief of the Census Bureau's Population Projections Branch.

"The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030," Ortman said. "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.

As this population continues to age, boomers have begun planning for retirement, including examining when they would like to leave the workforce, where they would like to settle down and how much they should set aside to account for the retirement cost of living. Additionally, these individuals may want to start retirement planning early, examining senior living options and organizations that may be suited to meet their needs in the next several decades.