Each and every one of us is getting older, some aging more gracefully than others. And the same is true for the world at large, as certain countries are entering their elder years at a slower pace. Chief among them? The United States, a new government study shows.
Within the next 30 years, the 65-and-older population is expected to reach 88 million, up from 48 million, based on newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Even though that's nearly doubling the rate, the increase isn't as significant when compared to other parts of the globe.
"By 2050, over 1.3 billion people in the world will be over 65."
In the world at large, the senior citizen population will reach 1.6 billion by 2050, more than doubling the number of people 65 and older living today internationally, the report projected.
Perhaps most evident of the U.S.' slowing senility is found in what percentage America's population is 65 and older. At just under 15 percent, the U.S. is the 48th-oldest country in the world.
Wan He, a demographer whose charge is population aging research at the Census Bureau, indicated that this is still pretty young, with the knowledge that there are nearly 230 countries across the planet.
"Baby boomers began reaching age 65 in 2011 and by 2050 the older share of the U.S. population will increase to 22.1 percent," explained He. "However, the U.S. will fall to 85th because of the more rapid pace of aging in many Asian and Latin American countries."
Japan, Germany have lowest birth rates
Speaking of which, Japan is the oldest country in the world, and has been for several years now, the Census Bureau report found. It's forecasted to maintain this status until 2050 at the earliest.
The reproductive rate is an issue that has been examined by a number of social scientists. The birth rate in Japan has slipped fairly consistently since 1975, dropping from 2.1 per family in 1977 to 1.3 in 2015, a slight uptick from 2005, based on data from the World Bank and reports by The Washington Post. As noted in the book, "What To Expect When No One's Expecting," there are more adult diapers in Japan than there are baby diapers.
"South Korea is expected to become the second-oldest country in the world."
Second to Japan in age is Germany, followed by Italy and Greece. However, He referenced that South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, respectively, are expected to assume those positions in 35 years or so.
Long-term health care is being more widely relied upon as society advances in years. Though professional services are available, the cost prevents many families from seeking expert assistance. Worldwide, caregiving is primarily handled by friends and family, the Census Bureau reported.
2 in 5 will need long-term care eventually
All individuals hope that they will live independently and won't have to rely on friends, family or professional services as they get older. But it often can't be avoided. According to the Health Care Financing Administration, 40 percent of Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives.
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