CENSUS: “People over 65 years old would outnumber children by 2035, a first in U.S. history, according to updated projections released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday [3-13-18].
The milestone would be the latest marker of the nation’s aging, which has accelerated with baby boomers’ move into their senior years and recessionary effects on births and immigration over the past decade. The shift deepens challenges for fiscal policy and economic growth. Trends in birth and immigration have also slowed the rate at which the country is becoming more diverse… By 2020, less than half of those under 18 years old would be non-Hispanic white.
The Census Bureau projects the country would grow to 355 million by 2030, five million fewer than it had estimated three years ago. That is an annual average growth rate of just 0.7%, in line with recent rates but well below historical levels.
Unlike many European nations, the U.S. would continue to grow, reaching 404 million by 2060. It would rival fast-growing Nigeria as third-most-populous, after India and China, according to census and United Nations projections…
Lower population growth could drag on economic growth. This year’s prime-age workforce—ages 25 to 54—is about 630,000 smaller than the Census Bureau projected it would be just three years ago. The bureau projects the prime-age workforce will grow 0.5% a year through 2030, down from a 2014 projected annual rate of 0.58% for the same period.
The growing elderly population will also put pressure on lawmakers to shift funding toward programs such as Medicare and Social Security, particularly because elderly Americans vote at high rates, said Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire… The projections are the first since 2015. They include revisions to birth and death and immigration rates, the key drivers of population growth.”
-Paul Overberg and Janet Adamy, “Elderly in U.S. Are Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar. 13, 2018 09:13pm