New Realities Await U.S. as Boomers Begin to Turn 65

The challenges of baby boomers reaching old age, combined with a growing, more diverse population, will drive major changes, challenges and decisions in U.S. families, workplaces and communities, according to NEW REALITIES of an OLDER AMERICA: Challenges, Changes and Questions, a report released today by the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Key findings include:

 • The number of older people (age 65 and over) will double over the next 30 years, from 40 million to 80 million, and the percentage of older people in the population will increase from 13% to 20%.

 • By 2032, there will be more people 65 or older than children under 15.

 • By the time the youngest baby boomers turn 65 in 2029, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older. The percentage of 85-year-olds will grow even faster.

 • Diversity will increase among older people, with minorities accounting for 60% of the growth among those 65 or older.

NEW REALITIES is a compendium that brings together the latest statistics from a range of sources, including academic research and government statistics; uses clear, engaging graphics; and asks provocative questions about impending changes. Individual sections address aging, diversity, housing, health and personal finance.

The implications concern the entire society — young and old alike. Even though many of these changes could have been anticipated, the United States has continued to rely on social and economic policies and practices that were designed for a more youthful population.