American Centenarians Increasing In Number
In the last three decades, America's club of centenarians is steadily burgeoning according to a recently published report released by the government.
The centenarian segment of the population used to be extremely small. However, experts estimate that the global population of 100-year-olds will climb to 6 million by 2050 as stated in a published article by US News and World Report. This significant demographic change will certainly redefine the current notions of middle and old age.
According to new population data from the Census Bureau, America's population of 100-year-olds has seen a five-fold increase or 65.8% growth since the 1980's. Of all US states, California has the largest share of centenarians- 5, 921- owing to its large population.
Another government report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also supports the Census Bureau data. The CDC report on mortality among centenarians shows a 43% climb from 50, 281 in 2000 to 72,197 in 2014.
"It's really a sign of continued increase in life expectancy and longevity and a sign of public health efforts and modern medicine over the last two centuries that have contributed to this," remarked Dr. Maria Torroella Carney who heads Northwell Health's geriatric and palliative medicine in New Hyde Park, New York as quoted saying by CBS News.
The growth can be attributed to a number of factors. Post-war changes have seen enormous improvements in healthcare and overall quality of life.
Furthermore, it has been observed that only 35% of American centenarians are receiving elderly care in nursing homes. Majority of them are living independently or with family members.
The burgeoning population of the centenarians and seniors present quite a lot of issues and concerns that will surely affect public spending in the future. Also, as baby boomers begin to surge the ranks of elderly sector, keeping government-funding for them will be difficult.
"Keeping Medicare and Social Security solvent are going to be huge issues. A lot of people have value in their houses, and will use that, but they will go through that money very quickly," said Hans Johnson of Public Policy Institute of California as mentioned in a report by San Francisco Gate.