Aging is Setting the Table for Global Transformation
- Blog Post by: Eric Schubert
- April 13, 2011 - 8:47 PM
The future announces itself from the horizon. And looking there, aging presents one of the greatest opportunities for innovation to make life better. Ideally, Minnesota ingenuity and innovation will play a global role in the changing world of aging.
We're all growing older. Uncommon, though, is the sheer number of people worldwide moving to old age at one time. An aging population combined with their consumer preferences, lifestyle choices, hobbies, health conditions and more will open the door to substantial change in all facets of living.
Many of the numbers below are daunting, especially when you look at the prevalence of Alzheiemer's. But consider this . . .
We’ve been given more time to accomplish more progress than ever before. In ancient Rome, old age was 22. In 1900, U.S. life expectancy was 45. Today it’s almost 80, with more people than ever reaching the century mark.
Below are some snapshots from the horizon we have to work with to transform tomorrow:
Senior Population Surging, Centenarians Abound
- Today nearly 41 million Americans are seniors or one in 8 of us. In 2030, one in five of us will be a senior or 73 million of us.
- In 2050, more than 87 million Americans will be seniors. Globally that will be 2 billion of us. That’s basically 6 “United States of Americas” populated solely by seniors.
- In 2050, we’ll need more than 6 stadiums the size of the Rose Bowl to seat every American centenarian. More than 600,000 Americans are projected to be at least 100 years old.
More Seniors Than Children
- In 2045 seniors will outnumber children in the world. A first. And a new normal.
- The fastest growing age group in the world is citizens 80 and older.
- The majority of older people are women.
Alzheimer’s and Disability
- When you achieve 65, your probability of physical or cognitive disability during your lifetime reaches 68%.
- An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. In 2050, absent a cure, 13.5 million of us will have Alzheimer’s.
- $183 billion: the cost of Alzheimer’s today in America. In 2050, it will cost more than $1 trillion. That is more than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries.
It's long been said demographics are destiny. Upon the horizon, destiny is what we do with demographics.
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