Wednesday, September 10, 2014

INTERACTIVE MAP: The U.S. Population Has Aged Significantly Over the Past Two Decades

by Elizabeth La Jeunesse
Research Analyst
The older adult population has grown tremendously since the first of the baby boomers (born 1946-64) turned 50 in the mid-1990s. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people 50 and over jumped by 35 million, an increase of 55 percent. This dramatic increase can be seen across US counties on the interactive map published as part of our new report, Housing America’s Older Adults. As the map shows, the share of population 50 and older grew substantially across the U.S. during the last two decades. In 1990, about 1 in 20 counties had a population where older adults made up 40 percent or more of its residents. These counties were mostly sprinkled throughout the Midwest and Florida. By 2010, however, that number had multiplied to around 1 in 3 counties, spread mostly across the Northeast, along the Canadian border, and into the West.

Click map to launch.  (May take a few seconds to load.)

The number of counties where half or more of the population was 50 or older also grew markedly—by a factor of more than ten—over this period. These counties can be seen in states across the nation, including Michigan, North Dakota, Texas, and Florida.

As detailed in the report, older adults all over the U.S. face a number of challenges including increasing risks of disability, isolation, and financial stress. The pressures on rural areas are particularly acute, given their larger older populations and the limited availability of services and housing options. The report documents many areas for action at all levels of government to ensure that older households are able to obtain affordable and accessible homes with the ability to remain connected to their communities and to receive needed long-term supports and services in their homes. But much of the responsibility for following through on these actions will fall on the local communities. As the map illustrates, the demand for housing to accommodate the aging population will be evident in a broad swath of communities across the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment