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Americans living longer, enjoying greater health and prosperity, but important disparities remain
Date:3/27/2008

art of the National Institutes of Health. Well be tracking their children, those just reaching their 60s, to see whether those gains can be sustained or even improved. Suzman cautions that there could be problems, however. For example, he notes that increased rates of obesity among todays middle-aged could threaten the health of these adults as they age.

The sheer size of the baby boom cohorts is certain to affect our health, long-term care and pension systems," says Benjamin E. Sasse, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services. As we look ahead, it is imperative that we collect and analyze quality data to help policymakers plan for the future of these programs so important to aging Americans.

Highlights from Older Americans 2008 include:

Population The demographics of aging in the United States continue to change dramatically, as the baby boomers accelerate growth in the percentage and numbers of older people and other important parameters change.

  • In 2006, an estimated 37 million people in the United States12 percent of the populationwere 65 and older. Projections forecast that by 2030, approximately 71.5 million people will be 65 and older, representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population.
  • In 1965, 24 percent of older adults had graduated from high school, and 5 percent had bachelors degrees. By 2007, 76 percent were high school graduates, and 19 percent had at least a bachelors degree. Substantial educational differences exist among racial and ethnic groups. Eighty-one percent of non-Hispanic whites age 65 and older had finished high school in 2007, compared with 72, 58 and 42 percent, respectively, of older Asians, blacks and Hispanics.

Economics More older people enjoy increased prosperity than any previous generation, with an increase in higher incomes and a decrease in the proportion of older people with low incomes and in p
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Contact: Vicky Cahan
nianews3@mail.nih.gov
301-496-1752
NIH/National Institute on Aging
Source:Eurekalert

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