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U.N. report: Aging population to spike by 2050

October 9, 2012

With longer lifespans, improved medical treatment and the impact of the baby boomer generation, many have been anticipating the growth of the senior population, and a recent report from the United Nations sheds light on what the future holds for senior living. The findings reveal that approximately 8 percent of the U.S. population will be over 80 by 2050, with 26 percent over the age of 60.

While the growing senior population is a testament to healthy aging, it does present a number of challenges. According to the U.N., some countries may run into pension problems, as older adults may end up paying more to their program than they get out due to the large number of retirees. Specifically, the U.S. aging population could put a strain on vital programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

Though some of the challenges are financial in nature, there are some health concerns as well. Most notably, the rate of Alzheimer's and dementia is expected to rise considerably, and could triple by 2050, according to the U.N. report.

While other countries face greater increases in the aging population, the United States has some obstacles of its own. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, and with 78 million of them, many will be heading to retirement communities across the country.