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Number of Elderly Doubling by 2050

May 08, 2014 10:18 PM EDT

The number of elderly people in the United States is expected to double within the next four decades, according to a pair of US Census Bureau reports. Such a spike in retired American citizens may heavily burden the nation's healthcare system.

According to a bureau report titled An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States the nation's population of citizens 65-years-old and older is projected to reach nearly 84 million by 2050. It has been estimated that that elderly demographic will make up 21 percent of the total US population.

Census Bureau investigators were quick to point out that the large majority of these elderly will be retired by their late 60s to mid 70s. According to a second study that focused primarily on the Baby Boomer generation living from 2012 to 2060, these elderly populations will be collecting Medicare and AARP benefits, and will likely require aid and medical treatment just as much as the current US elderly population does now. The Baby Boomer population comprised of 24.3 percent of the US population in 2012, and according to the report, it is expected that this percentage will only markedly lower by 2060, when the youngest Baby Boomer will be 96-years-old.

Jennifer Ortman the chief of the Census Bureau's Population Projections Branch said in a bureau statement that this huge spike in elderly population "will have implications for health care services and providers, national and local policymakers, and businesses seeking to anticipate the influence that this population may have on their services."

Still, the bureau reports that this change may not be as cataclysmic as the numbers may imply. According to past reports, the health's service network, especially elderly service have been growing over the past several years. In-fact, the health care and social assistance sector is one of the largest sectors in the US, with well over 800,000 establishments and clinics that serve elderly needs.

Both reports were issued this May, and were detailed in a Census Bureau's Population Projections report on May 6.

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