There will be fewer working age citizens to support aging baby boomers over the next two decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The dependency ration, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working age, is expected to climb from 22 in 2010 to 35 by 2030. The higher the ratio, the greater the potential financial burden.
Census projections indicate that the number of people 65 and older will increase from 13 percent of the total population to 19 percent in the next 20 years. The percentage of 20 to 64 year olds will fall from 60 to 55 percent in the same time period.
“This rapid growth of the older population may present challenges in the next two decades,” said Victoria Velkoff, assistant chief for estimates and projections for the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “It’s also noteworthy that those 85 and older — who often require additional caregiving and support — would increase from about 14 percent of the older population today to 21 percent in 2050.”
The Census Bureau report also predicts minorities will comprise 42 percent of 65 and older population in 2050, more than double today’s rate. The percentage of minorities 85 and older will increase from 15 percent in 2010 to 33 percent in 2050.
Other highlights from the report include:
• the percentage of Hispanics 65 and older will increase from seven percent today to 20 percent in 2050 – a sixfold increase from 2.9 million to 17.5 million. The Hispanic population 85 and older is projected to increase from 305,000 to 2.9 million.
• the percentage of blacks 65 and older will increase from nine percent in 2010 to 12 percent in 2050. The percentage of Asians will rise from three to nine percent in the same period. The white population will fall from 87 percent to 77 percent in this age range.
• the older multiracial population will increase from 278,000 in 2010 to 1.3 million in 2050. This population comprises 5.1 percent of the 65 and older population in 2010 and is projected to comprise 7.8 percent in 2050.
• men are expected to live longer reducing the overall percentage of women 65 and older from 57 percent today to 55 percent in 2010. Among those 85 and older, the percentage of women will fall from 67 percent to 61 percent.