1.3 billion seniors by 2040 only increases need for true reforms


by Ted Modrich | July 20th, 2009 • The Census Bureau is reporting today that by 2040, the number of people over the age of 65 will hit approximately 1.3 billion, representing 14% of the global population. The report also stated, “People aged 65 and over will soon outnumber children under age 5 for the first time in history.” This data also matches up with statistics that found seniors will outnumber young people in Minnesota by the year 2020.

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.

This extremely rapid increase in the senior population poses some serious, and obvious problems for Minnesota and the rest of the nation. More seniors means greater health care needs, and a continued explosion of the costs of Medicare, hurting state and federal budgets. The continued explosion of costs further highlights our need for health care reform, specifically to reduce those costs. An increase in the senior population will also lead to higher pension costs. The higher public spending needed to just keep up will hurt our overall economic growth.

Maintaining the status quo is unsustainable for our country and states, as the White House and Congressional Budget Office have stated time and time again. While progressive leaders have frequently said that doing nothing is not an option, these statistics only magnify the true costs a lack of reform will have on our budgets and our economy. Living a longer, healthier life is supposed to be a good thing; it’s time for our policies to catch up with us.

Support people-powered non-profit journalism! Volunteer, contribute news, or become a member to keep the Daily Planet in orbit.