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Robert Longley

Future US Slower Growing, Older and More Diverse

By December 19, 2012

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After growing more slowly for the next 50 years or so, the population of United States in 2060 will be older and more diverse than in 2012, according to new projections from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Older: Totaling about 43.1 million today, the nation's population of people age 65 and older will more than double by 2060, growing to over 92 million, according to the 2012 National Population Projections. At that point, just over one in five U.S. residents will be over 65, compared to one in seven today. In addition, the number of "super seniors" -- persons 85 and older is expected to more than triple from 5.9 million to 18.2 million, reaching 4.3 percent of the total population by 2060.

Today's population of 76.4 million "baby boomers," persons born from 1946 to 1964 and currently retiring at the rate of about 10,000 per day, will dwindle to only 2.4 million in 2060, when the oldest of them will be 96 years old. Also See: The Future of Social Security.

Slower Growing: In what many will consider good news, the Census Bureau projects that the overall U.S. population will grow much more slowly for the next several decades. The slow-growth turnaround is attributed to projected lower birth rates in the U.S. and reductions in net international migration.

And More Diverse: After peaking at 199.6 million in 2024, the non-Hispanic white population is projected to decrease slowly, falling by nearly 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060. Over the same time period, however, the population of other racial and ethnic groups is projected to continue to increase.

For example, the Hispanic population is projected to more than double, growing from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. In 2060, nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic, compared to about one in six today.

As a result of increases in the populations of black, Asian and other racial and ethnic groups, minorities are projected to comprise 57% of the total U.S. population in 2060, compared to 37% today. The Census Bureau projects that the U.S. will become a "majority-minority" nation - one in which all combined minorities make up more than 51% of the population - for the first time in 2043.

Overall, the Census Bureau projects that the total minority population of the U.S. will more than double, from 116.2 million today to 241.3 million by 2060.

"The next half century marks key points in continuing trends," said acting Census Director Thomas L. Mesenbourg in a press release. "The U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority."

Also See:
Living Past 90 in America
Boomers Now Fastest Growing Part of Population
Hispanic-owned Businesses Show Fastest Growth Rate

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