Due to aging baby boomers, older people are expected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history in about 17 years, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.
By 2035, there are expected to be 78 million people in the United States 65 and older compared to 76.4 million under 18, according to the Census Bureau.
One in every five U.S. residents will be retirement age in 2030.
“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau.
Net international migration is projected to overtake natural increase in 2030 as the primary driver of population growth in the United States, another demographic first for the United States, a Census Bureau news release stated.
“Although births are projected to be nearly four times larger than the level of net international migration in coming decades, a rising number of deaths will increasingly offset how much births are able to contribute to population growth,” the release said. “Between 2020 and 2050, the number of deaths is projected to rise substantially as the population ages and a significant share of the population, the baby boomers, age into older adulthood.
“As a result, the population will naturally grow very slowly, leaving net international migration to overtake natural increase as the leading cause of population growth, even as projected levels of migration remain relatively constant.”
The U.S. population, currently at 326 million, is projected to cross the 400-million threshold in 2058.
By 2020, there will be about three-and-a-half working-age adults for every retirement-age person.