Census: Older People to Outnumber Children by 2050

In some of the world’s regions, people who are 65+ are already beginning to outnumber their younger counterparts, and by 2050, they will, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Northern America, including the United States and Canada, will have joined Europe as a region where the 65+ population outweighs those younger than 15 in the next three decades, the Census reports. Asia, Latin America and Australia and New Zealand will also see this phenomenon, the census predicts. 

China, with its rapidly aging population, will experience the shift this year in 2012, according to the report. With the exception of Africa, the remainder of the world regions will see their population weigh heavily to the oldest generations, with the overall population more than doubling from 8% today to 17% in 2050. 


With the changes, will come changes in disease patters, health care burdens, pension systems, labor force and other economic values, the Census writes. 

The Census uses its International Data Base to make these projections based on age and sex estimates for countries with populations of 5,000 or more. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Will the government entitlement programs promised to seniors create even more friction between seniors and the working population?  The next 38 years will be interesting years to live in.  Not only will the JFK assassination documents and artifacts be released from their 75 year veil of secrecy but the graying of America will be more evident than ever.

    For the last quarter of a century, it has been evident that the following four decades will see much friction between the older and younger generations.  Some may think that about $20 trillion in federal government debt is nothing but to others, this looks like debtors’ prison for our descendants and heirs even putting our future at risk to the economic whims of foreign powers.

    Reverse mortgages and the controversy now looming over when younger seniors should originate HECMs will only grow worse in the short run.  There is already a “fault line” growing between those who advocate economic and financial principles should apply and those who cling to the more traditional and conventional arguments of the past.  Like we hear constantly from one group “why have Savers except to reduce upfront costs?” and from the other “Savers will be one of the chief ways we will grow out of our present endorsement drought.”

    While all agree that the ideas now being developed in the financial planning community are not ideal for all prospects, particularly those who are part of our traditional borrowing base, the ideas now being developed need to be fostered and expanded in our industry.

    The current situation of significant differences in ideas is no different than introducing PCs to the income tax department of the largest engineering firm in the world back in 1982.  There were some who saw the value and expanded their initial PC use and others who thought paper, pencil, typewriters, secretaries, calculators and law libraries filed with books were much more accurate, inexpensive, efficient, effective, and easier to use in correspondence, tax compliance work, and research.  After a few years only the near retirees did not use or understand how useful our transformation had been to our department and the company as a whole.

    Our concepts must change or we must expect to live in a world dreaming about a few hundred thousand endorsements some year in the future.  We can advance our endorsement levels through well developed and reasoned approaches to helping the more affluent and financially sophisticated stretch their money throughout retirement or be content with a slow return to the years of one hundred thousand endorsements.  This means espousing the idea that specific segments of seniors should originate HECMs very early in retirement and others should not.  While the new ideas may not have the emotional appeal or satisfaction of saving a senior from foreclosure, they are still a very worthwhile endeavor.

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