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A Profile of Older Americans: 2006

Future Growth

The older population will continue to grow significantly in the future (see Figure 1). This growth  slowed somewhat during the 1990's because of the relatively small number of babies born during the Great Depression of the 1930's. But the older population will burgeon between the years 2010 and 2030 when the "baby boom" generation reaches age 65.

The population 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase)and then to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade).  By 2030, there will be about 71.5 million older persons, almost twice their number in 2005. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2005 but are expected to grow to be 20% of the population by 2030. The 85+ population is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 6.1 million in 2010 (40%) and then to 7.3 million in 2020 (44% for that decade).

Minority populations are projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.4% of the elderly population) to 8.1 million in 2010 (20.1% of the elderly) and then to 12.9 million in 2020 (23.6% of the elderly). Between 2004 and 2030, the white** population 65+ is projected to increase by 74% compared with 183% for older minorities, including Hispanics (254%), African-Americans** (147%), American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts** (143%), and Asians and Pacific Islanders** (208%).

Figure 1 Shows the large increases in the older population from 1900 through 2030

Note: Increments in years are uneven.

(Sources: Projections of the Population by Age are taken from the January 2004 Census Internet Release.Historical data are taken from "65+ in the United States," Current Population Reports, Special Studies, P23-190 Data for 2000 are from the 2000 Census and 2005 data are taken from the Census estimates for 2005.)

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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans 2006 - Marital Status