HealthDay News — There will be almost twice as many elderly Americans in 2050 as there are now, posing serious issues for the nation’s health care system, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

The number of people aged 65 and older is projected to reach 83.7 million by 2050, compared with 43.1 million in 2012, the bureau reported. The sharp rise is due to aging baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964 and began turning 65 in 2011.

As the population ages, the ratio of working-age Americans to retirees will change as well. According to the bureau, there were 22 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people in 2012. However, by 2030, that will rise to 35 people aged 65 and older for every 100 working-age people, which means there will be about three working-age people for every person aged 65 and older.

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Health care service providers have reported a 20% increase in employees between 2007 and 2011. The U.S. health care sector has been named as one of the largest in the country and will continue to keep growing. The U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics has recently said that the U.S. will need 1.1 million nurses by 2020 to cover both the aging population and retirees from the nursing industry.

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


  1. Ortman J et al. U.S. Census Bureau. 2014; An Aging Nation:The Older Population in the United States, Current Population Reports, P25-1140.