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Number of Seniors in U.S. Expected to Double by 2050

Update Date: May 07, 2014 10:29 AM EDT

According to new reports, the number of older individuals living in the United States is expected to double by 2050. The jump in the percentage of seniors could pose some serious problems for the country's health care system.

"The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030," Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Population Projections Branch at the census bureau, said reported by Philly.

In the two new U.S. Census Bureau reports, the data revealed that by 2050, the number of adults over the age of 65 would cross the 80 million mark. In 2012, the number of seniors aged 65 and older was just 43.1 million. The drastic increase is caused by the baby boomers that were born between 1946 and 1964. In 2011, the first set of baby boomers started turning 65.

The researchers also examined the ratio of working adults to retirees. They calculated that by 2030, the number of retirees aged 65 or up will increase from 22 to 35 per 100 working-age adults. By 2010, that ratio could increase to 36 people per 100 working-age adults. With this sharp increase, the researchers stated that health care providers and services should prepare to meet these new demands. Both federal and state policymakers must also adopt new initiatives and programs that would address the needs of the elderly.

"The projected growth of the older population in the United States will present challenges to policy makers and programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. It will also affect families, businesses and health care providers," researchers wrote reported by FOX News.

The two reports, "An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States" and "The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060," are detailed in this news release.

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