According to the Administration on Aging(AoA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States is experiencing a dramatic increase in the numbers of people who live to old age.
This phenomenon is creating challenges for Americans of all ages as they cope with Social Security, health care, housing, employment, and other national issues that are important to an aging population.
Aging Population Around the World
The increase in seniors is not just limited to the United States; there is also an aging population explosion in many other countries. According to the AoA, this increase can be attributed to advances in science, technology and medicine leading to reductions in infant and maternal mortality, infectious and parasitic diseases, occupational safety measures, and improvements in nutrition and education.
In 2000, approximately 605 million people were 60 years or older. By 2050, that number is expected to be close to 2 billion. At that time, seniors will outnumber children 14 and under for the first time in history.
Aging Population Offers Economic and Political Clout to Seniors
There is power in numbers. As a group, seniors have tremendous economic and political clout.
According to Selling to Seniors, a monthly marketing report, people 50 and over control 77 percent of all financial assets in the United States, own almost 50 percent of all credit cards, and account for more than 50 percent of discretionary spending power 2.5 times the average per capita.
Politically, the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that 72 percent of all American citizens ages 65 to 74 voted in the 2000 presidential election the highest rate of any age group. Seniors are also more likely than people in other age groups to write or telephone their state and federal representatives about an issue that is important to them.
Make Your Voice Heard
The aging population can work in your favor. You can help give seniors even more clout by joining senior-advocacy groups like AARP, supporting businesses with employment and customer service policies that benefit seniors, and participating in the political process at the local, state and national levels.
You have the power to help shape the laws, policies, products and services that will profoundly affect the quality of your life. Get involvedvote with your ballot and your walletand make your voice heard.