Lake County Council on Aging Blog

Growing Older

Thursday, February 07, 2013

We are all aware that the baby-boom generation is fast approaching age 65 and that approximately 10,000 people will reach 65 in the United States every day for the next 15 years. That means that the US is going to be a very “old” country, correct? But, in fact, the US will be “younger” than many other countries.

According to the Congressional Quarterly, Inc. , for example, between 2000 and 2050, the US population 65+ will increase from 12% to 21%. However, in Germany, during the same time period, the percent of the population aged 65+ will go from 16% to 30%, while in Italy it will go from 18% to 33% and, in Japan, from 17% to 34%! In all of these countries, the effects of World War II, more women entering the workforce, the age of marriage being delayed, and lower birth rates are all contributing to the increased proportion of older adults and decreased proportion of younger people. It will be interesting to see how the governments and societies of these countries choose to deal with the economic and social realities such population shifts will bring about. Hopefully, these nations can learn from each other and adopt the most promising solutions for the betterment of us all.