Characteristics of the Future Older U.S. Population

Grayson K. Vincent, U.S. Census Bureau
Victoria A. Velkoff, U.S. Census Bureau

The baby boom generation has been the dominant force behind the nation’s changing age structure. By mid-century, the baby boomers are expected to transform the U.S. population into one containing an unprecedented number of older residents. Along with its increasing size, the older population is becoming more diverse in terms of race and Hispanic origin. Analysis of the sex ratios shows that the older population is expected to become more balanced with respect to the ratio of males to females. Recently released projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, which are the first projections to use the 1997 OMB’s race categories, demonstrate the changing racial and ethnic composition of the older population between now and 2050. This analysis examines the overall aging of the U.S. population, including its impact on dependency ratios. It will also focus on the growing racial and ethnic diversity and increasing sex ratios at older age groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 2