Population Aging Back »

What is population aging?

Population aging is an increase in the proportion of the population age 65 and older. As a result, the average age of the population increases.

Where is population aging happening?

Population aging is happening across the globe, even in developing nations. The median age in the United States is projected to climb to 42 by the year 2030, meaning more than half of all Americans will be age 40 or older! In South Dakota, nearly one in four people will be age 65 or older by 2029.

Why is population aging happening?

Medical and sanitation advancements that increase the number of years a person lives are contributing to population aging. Perhaps more significant, less children are being born.

Why is discussing population aging important?

Our homes and communities were designed when the vast majority of people were younger, meaning the natural changes of aging were not considered in their construction. For example, most people need glasses in their 40s. As a result, our homes and communities can be barriers to remaining independent.

Population aging is an unprecedented event in American history. For the majority of human history the number of adults over the age of 65 was quite small. Because of reduced birthrates, projections suggest that we are entering a period of time when it will be normal for a large portion of the population to be age 65 or older.

Population Aging Video

What sparked this change? Please watch this video for details.


Disclaimer: The preceding is presented for informational purposes only. SDSU Extension does not endorse the services, methods or products described herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding them.

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