According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), recent data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the United States population has aged at an unprecedented rate, surpassing any other period in the past hundred years.
The AP stated on Thursday that the proportion of individuals aged 65 or older increased by over a third between 2010 and 2020, marking the fastest growth rate witnessed in the past 130 years. Conversely, the percentage of children declined during the same timeframe, as per the latest census figures.
According to the data, the decrease in the number of children under the age of five had a significant impact on the median age in the United States, which rose from 37.2 in 2010 to 38.8 in 2020. This trend was influenced by two major age groups: the baby boomers and the millennials. More individuals from the baby boomer generation reached the age of 65, while fewer children were born during the span of ten years.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that experts attribute this decline to women opting to delay childbirth until later in life, often due to a focus on education and careers. Additionally, the AP noted that birth rates never rebounded following the economic downturn of the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009.
According to sociologist Philip Cohen from the University of Maryland, the decline in birth rates can be attributed to factors that affect the affordability of raising a child.
Furthermore, an older population average has resulted in social and economic repercussions, particularly concerning the capacity of working-age adults to financially support older citizens through programs like social security and Medicare.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that the Census Bureau measures a dependency ratio, which is defined as the combined number of children and seniors per 100 working-age individuals. While the dependency ratio for children decreased between 2010 and 2020, it increased by 6.8 individuals for seniors.
The reverse mortgage sector has frequently referred to the concept of a “silver tsunami,” which signifies a substantial surge in the population of seniors aged 62 and above, consequently increasing the number of individuals eligible for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).
Given these demographic patterns and the reported concerns surrounding retirement funding inadequacies, it is highly probable that the industry will closely monitor the development of these trends.