Chapter 14: Aging and Families
|Table 1: Numbers and Percent of United States Population Aged 65 and Over 2008|
|≤ 14 years of Age||15-64 Years old||US Elderly||Uniter States Total|
|61,146,753 (20.1%)||203,987,724 (67.1%)||38,690,169 (12.7%)||303,824,646 (100%)|
The future growth of the US elderly population is immense in comparison to previous Census tabulations and growth rates. In Figure 1 below you see tremendous growth in the United States where the elderly now comprise only 1 in 8 members of US society, but will eventually in 2050 comprise 1 in 5. In Figure 2 below you can see that the oldest old--85 years and older is also growing rapidly. This means that in general more people are living longer. In fact there are more Centenarians than ever before. A centenarian is a living person who has had his or her 100 birthday. US Census counts indicated about 37,000 centenarians in 1990 and about 50,000 in 2000 (See Kestenbaum and Reneé, 2006 Retrieved from the Internet 19 July, 2008 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_n17183322).
Understanding the Generations of Life
Theorizing Later Life
Who make up the generations of our day? Look at Figure 4 below to see birth rates and generation labels for the United States. First notice the red and blue lines. The red represents the Crude Birth Rate, the numbers of births per 1,000 population in a given year. The Blue line represents the General Fertility Rate, the numbers of live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Both CBR and GBRs show a pattern of birth rates that were relatively high when the World-At-War Generation was born. Birth rates declined with the Great Depression until 1946 (the commencement of the Baby Boom). The Baby Boom represented a surge in birth rates that endured from 1946-1964 and declined to pre- Boom rates in 1965. Generation X or “Gen X” represents the children of the Baby Boomers which spilled into Generation Y or the “Millennials” which by most accounts are still being born.
The majority of the elderly today are women. If you consider the elderly as being divided into three life stages you can discern just how the elderly are comprised comparing males to females. The Young-old are 65-74 years, the Middle-old are 75-84 years, and the Old-old are 85+ years. In 2005 there were more females in all three ages, 65-74, 75-84, and 85+. This is because women, in most countries of the world, have a higher life expectancy than men. Life expectancy is the average numbers of years a person born today may expect to live.
Data retrieved 19 June 2008 from Table 1. Resident population, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin: United States, selected years 1950-2005 from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus07.pdf#001
|Table 2: United States Life Expectancies|
|Table 3: 2007 World and Regional Life Expectancies|
|Table 4: Worldwide Percent of Persons Ages 65 and Older|
|Latin Am. and Caribbean||6||10||19|