Aging Populations Initiative
By 2030, one out of every five Americans will have celebrated his or her 65th birthday. Is America really prepared to meet the needs and aspirations of its aging population?
Helping communities improve the quality of life for older Americans is the goal of the Milken Institute's Aging Populations Initiative. Our Best Cities for an Aging Population index is only the first step.
Several facts underscore the gravity of the challenge:
- In the United States, the average 65-year-old has a life expectancy of 18.6 more years (19.9 years for females and 17.2 years for males), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- In 1950, the world population averaged 12 people ages 15 to 64 for every person 65 and older. By 2009, the ratio was 9:1, and by 2050, the U.N. Population Division projects a ratio of 4:1. In the U.S., the ratio was 5:1 in 2009 and is projected to be 3:1 in 2050.
- Worldwide, an estimated one in 13 people - 522 million of the population - was 65 or older in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2050, one in six - a projected 1.6 billion people - will be 65 or older.
With increased longevity and declining birth rates, the strain on retirement safety nets and health-care systems will require the engagement of all sectors-government, business, philanthropy and academia. The longevity miracle should be met not with alarm but with thoughtful leadership and management so that social resources support healthy, active aging and harness the contributions and potential of our seniors.