If you haven’t taken the time to do any research on the subject you may simply assume that the population of the United States is completely balanced. People are born and people die every day, and this arrangement has been in place for some time, so you’d assume that the ratio of people occupying each respective age group remains pretty much the same. However upon closer inspection you will find that this is not the case and current age demographic trending is actually very surprising and potentially problematic.
The “baby boomer” generation is comprised of people who were born during the post-World War II period that spanned from 1946 to 1964. There was a spike in births during this time, and as a result there are an unprecedented number of adults reaching senior citizen status at the same time. The most recent census statistics indicate that senior citizens are the fastest-growing segment of the United States population. This in itself is a profound bit of information to digest, but to take it a step further, those who are considered “the oldest old,” people who have reached the age of 85 and older, are the most rapidly growing age demographic subset.
As a result financial and legal issues that are relevant to senior citizens are becoming more and more prominent in the public consciousness. We are hearing a lot of talk coming out of Washington about the national debt and reductions to the budget in an effort to reduce this enormous burden. The fact is that some 10,000 people are applying for Social Security and Medicare every day. As amazing as this statistic is, what is more mind-boggling is the fact that 10,000 new Social Security applications will be accepted daily for the next 20 years.
It will be interesting to see how the growing demand for these social services will interface with the clamoring for budget cuts that we hear coming out of Washington during the upcoming 2012 election cycle.