Two elderly people with walkers stop at a crossing and look at a flood of ice and slush on a First Avenue street corner in the East Village in New York City on February 5, 2014. The U.S. population age 65 and older will double in size from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. population age 65 and older will double in size from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau said.
Two reports released from the U.S. Census Bureau said the driving growth of the older population is due to aging baby boomers -- those born from mid-1946 to mid-1964, who began turning 65 in 2011.
The first report, An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States, analyzed the demographic changes if the senior population, which will comprise 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2050. A second report, The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060, analyzed the shifting size and structure of the boomer population.
"The United States is projected to age significantly over this period, with 20 percent of its population age 65 and over by 2030," Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Census Bureau's Population Projections Branch, said in a statement.
"Changes in the age structure of the U.S. population will have implications for healthcare services and providers, national and local policymakers, and businesses seeking to anticipate the influence that this population may have on their services, family structure and the American landscape."
For example, the Census Bureau found The Villages, Fla. -- where a large retirement community is located -- was the nation's fastest growing metropolitan area from 2012 to 2013.
The proportion of the age 65 and older population is projected to increase in all developed countries from 2012 to 2030, but the United States will remain one of the younger developed countries with only 20 percent of its population age 65 and older in 2030.
When the first of the baby boomers turned age 65 in 2011, there were almost 77 million U.S. baby boomers. But that number is projected to drop to 60 million by 2030 and to 2.4 million by 2060, when the the youngest baby boomers will be age 96.