Thursday, February 21, 2008
What will be one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century? In addition to global warning, it will be the need for services for the aging population. The baby boomers are entering their golden years, and medical science is keeping more of us alive longer. By the year 2030 the U.S. population of people 65 and older is expected to grow to 71 million of which 9 million will be 85 or older, a doubling of this population from the year 2000. On a worldwide basis the median age today is 26, but by 2050 it is forecasted to be 36. And a major issue worldwide will the shift of people into the retired age bracket. In 1950 there were twelve people in the working age group for every person in the retired category. By 2000 this ration had shifted to 9:1 and by 2050 it is expected to drop to 4:1, putting tremendous pressure on systems such as Social Security and Medicare. Our political system will need to step up to this reality.