Take a look around at the people you see in your everyday life in your hometown. There have never been as many older adults as there are now, espe­cially people over age 85. Why? Most important, health care improved during the 20th century, and

many fewer women died during childbirth. Let’s take a closer look.

Population Trends in the United States. Look closely at the age distributions in the U. S. population for 2000 and projections for 2025, 2050, and 2100. These show that the population is aging (see Figures 1.1,

1. 2, 1.3, and 1.4). In 2000, there were many more people between their mid-30s and 40s than any other age group. Projections for 2025 (when nearly all the baby boomers have reached age 65) show that the distribution will have changed dramatically; the baby boomers’ aging makes the graph look much more rectangular. By 2050, the shape of the distri­bution will be more like a beehive, as more people continue to live into their 80s, 90s, and 100s. The biggest change by the year 2100 will be in the num­ber of older men.

The coming dramatic change in the number of older adults has already had profound effects on everyone’s lives. Through the first few decades of the 21st century, older adults will be a major economic

Подпись:100 + 95-99 90-94 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59

be

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40-44

35-39

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25-29

20-24

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Less than 5

5.0

Подпись: FemaleMale

Figure 1.1 Resident population of the United States as of July 1, 2000.

Source: National Projections Program, Population Division, U. S. Census Bureau, Washington, D. C. 20233.

Studying Adult Development and Aging 5

The Demographics of Aging

5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5

 

5.0

 

Percentage

 

Male

 

Female

 

Figure 1.2 Projected resident population of the United States as of July 1, 2025.

Source: National Projections Program, Population Division, U. S. Census Bureau, Washington, D. C. 20233.

 

100 +

95-99

90-94

85-89

80-84

75-79

70-74

65-69

60-64

55-59

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Less than 5

 

5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5

 

5.0

 

Percentage

 

Male

 

Female

 

Figure 1.3 Projected resident population of the United States as of July 1, 2050.

Source: National Projections Program, Population Division, U. S. Census Bureau, Washington, D. C. 20233.

 

6 CHAPTER 1

 

image11image12

100 + 95-99 90-94 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59

Подпись: 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 Percentage CL

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40-44

35-39

30-34

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15-19

10-14

5-9

Подпись: 5.0

Less than 5

Подпись: FemaleMale

Figure 1.4 Projected resident population of the United States as of July 1, 2100.

Source: National Projections Program, Population Division, U. S. Census Bureau, Washington, D. C. 20233.

Подпись: Studying Adult Development and Aging

and political force. There is fear that they will drain the Social Security and other pension systems, make health care increasingly unaffordable, and force other human services to choose between serv­ing older adults and serving other age groups. The costs will be borne by smaller groups of taxpayers in younger generations.

The strain on health and social services will be exacerbated because the most rapidly growing seg­ment of the U. S. population is people over age 85. In fact, the number of such people will increase nearly 500% between 2000 and 2050, compared to about a 50% increase in the number of 20 to 29 year olds dur­ing the same period (U. S. Census Bureau, 2008a). As we discuss in Chapter 4, people over age 85 generally need more assistance with daily living than do people under age 85.

Diversity of Older Adults in the United States. Just like people your age, older adults are not all alike. The number of older adults among ethnic minority groups is increasing faster than among European

Americans. For example, the number of Native American elderly has increased 65% in recent decades; Asian and Pacific Islander elderly have quadrupled; older adults are the fastest-growing seg­ment of the African American population; and the number of Latino American elderly is also increas­ing rapidly (U. S. Census Bureau, 2008a). Projections for the future diversity of the U. S. population are shown in Figure 1.5. You should note the very large increases in the number of Asian, Native, and Latino American older adults relative to European and African American older adults.

Future older adults will be better educated. At present a little more than half of the people over age 65 have only a high school diploma or some college, and about 18% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. By 2030 it is estimated that 85% will have a high school diploma and 75% will have a college degree (U. S. Census Bureau, 2008a). These dramatic changes will be due mainly to better educational opportunities for more students and greater need for formal schooling (especially college) to find a

7

□ 1995-2010 Щ 1995-2030 ]] 1995-2050

 

European Americans

 

African Americans

 

Asian and Native Americans

 

Hispanic Americans

 

100 200 300 400 500 600

Percentage change

 

image14

Подпись: 0700 800 900

Figure 1.5 Projected growth of minority populations of older adults in the United States, 1995-2050.

Source: Data from the U. S. Census Bureau.

good job. Also, better-educated people tend to live longer, mostly because they have higher incomes, which give them better access to good health care and a chance to follow healthier lifestyles. We examine these issues in more detail in Chapter 4.

You probably know some older adults who are fiercely independent, who view the challenges of aging as something you face mainly alone or with help from professionals. You also probably know others who view themselves as part of a larger unit, typically family, and see the same challenges as something one faces with other family members as a group. In more formal terms, the first group of people represents individualism, and the second group reflects collectivism (Ajrouch, 2008).

As the number of ethnic minority older adults continues to increase, an important emerging issue will be the differences in these perspectives. This matters because the ways in which intervention is done differs a great deal. For those who emphasize individualism, the emphasis and approach is very much focused on only the person in question. In contrast, intervention with those who fit the collec­tivism approach needs to include the broader family or even friendship network. As the United States

becomes more diverse, these views, which reflect different cultures globally, will increasingly need to be taken into account by all organizations.

image15

This Latina older woman represents the changing face of older adults in the U. S.

8 CHAPTER 1

Population Trends Around the World. How much do you know about global aging? Before you continue, test your knowledge by taking the 20 Questions about Global Aging quiz on page 11.

The population trends in the United States are not unique. As you can see in Figures 1.6 and 1.7, the number of older adults will increase dramatically in nearly all areas of the world over the next several decades. Overall, the “oldest” area of the world will continue to be Europe. The “youngest” area will continue to be Africa, where overall poor access to health care and a high incidence of AIDS signifi­cantly shorten lives (U. S. Census Bureau, 2008a).

Economically powerful countries around the world such as Japan are trying to cope with increased numbers of older adults that strain the country’s resources. Indeed, the rate of growth of older adults in Japan is the highest in the industrial­ized world, due to a declining birth rate; by 2025
there will be twice as many adults over age 65 as there will be children (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2005). The economic impact will be substantial for Japan, and in general the aging of the world’s population will have significant effects on the world economy (Krueger & Ludwig,

2007) . For example, pension and health care costs will increase dramatically, and there will be fewer workers to bear the burden in many industrialized countries. Canada leads the industrialized world in the rate of increase in the older adult population: between 2000 and 2030, it will increase by 126%.

But that’s nothing compared to the explosive increase in the population of older adults that faces developing countries (Kinsella & Velkoff, 2001). For example, Singapore will see a 372% increase in older adults by 2050, with Malaysia (277%), Colombia (258%), and Costa Rica (250%) all seeing rises of more than 250%.

image16

Figure 1.6 Percentage of people in countries globally aged 65 and over, 2000.

Source: U. S. Census Bureau, 2000a.

Studying Adult Development and Aging 9

image17

Figure 1.7 Percentage of people in countries globally aged 65 and over, 2030.

Source: U. S. Census Bureau, 2000a.

Economic conditions in different countries have a powerful effect on aging. One way to see this is to ask whether the parents of adults in households in developing countries are alive. Given that the par­ents are over age 50 (if they are alive), the relation­ship between economic situation and age becomes clearer. Banerjee and Duflo (2008) found that the odds of having a living parent was about the same for all adults whose daily per capita expenditures were $4 or less, and increased steadily the higher the daily expenditure got. For example, the prob­ability of having a living parent for adults whose daily expenditures were between $6 and $10 was 36 percentage points higher than for adults with a daily expenditure of $1 or $2. Additionally, for people living in India, Indonesia, or Vietnam, the odds that people over age 50 with daily expenditures of $1 or $2 will die in the next 5-7 years is at least three times greater than it is for people whose daily

10 CHAPTER 1

expenditures are $6-10. Clearly, poverty is strongly related to the odds of living a long life.

The worldwide implications of these popula­tion shifts are enormous. First, consider what will happen in countries such as Japan and throughout most of Europe, where the changes will result in net population decreases. Why? The main reason these countries are “aging” is a significantly lower birth rate. Once the large older-adult population dies, population decreases are inevitable. For them, it presents the problem of how their economies will handle a shrinking supply of workers (and consum­ers). In contrast, the dramatic increase in older adults (and population in general) of most of the rest of the world presents the multiple problems of caring for more older adults in health care systems that are already inadequate and strained, as well as trying to absorb more workers in fragile economies (Kinsella & Velkoff, 2001).