Life expectancy for senior citizens is expected to reach an average of 85 years of age by the year 2060, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Indeed, by 2060, 25 percent of all U.S. residents will be over age 65.
But, overall, the growth in life expectancy in the U.S. over the next four decades is expected to be slower than it was in the four previous decades.
Life Expectancy: Historical Statistics
Between 1970 and 2015, life expectancy rose by almost eight years, but it’s predicted to rise only about six years between 2017 and 2060. Why is this happening, you ask?
The answer is that in the latter half of the 20th century, there were decreases in infectious diseases and cardiovascular deaths. Moreover, there were increases in vaccinations as well as the promotion of exercise and anti-smoking campaigns.
The success of these public service campaigns by several health organizations insures that these campaigns will continue so as to educate the public.
Looking into the future, the prevalence of preventable health risks — such as smoking, obesity, and, more recently, opioid-related overdoses — will continue to receive wide publicity. Therefore, with this additional education, we can expect that life expectancy will continue to increase.
Life Expectancy: Men Versus Women
It’s projected that women will continue to live longer than men by 2060, as they do now. But, life expectancy is expected to grow more for men than for women, during this period.
All racial and ethnic groups are also expected to have gains in life expectancy. The projections show that the largest increases will be for black men, American Indian men and Alaska native men, according to the report.
Life Expectancy: Population Growth Projections
The U.S. population is expected to grow by almost 25 percent in the next four decades. From 332 million people today to 404 million people by 2060. By 2028, the portion of foreign-born people will be 14.9 percent, the highest level since 1850.
However, much of this projected population growth depends on future U.S. immigration policies, according to the Census Bureau.
With high levels of immigration, around 50 percent, the population grows to 447 million people by 2060. With no immigration, the population declines to 320 million by 2060, according to the Census Bureau.
Immigration also will determine the nation’s diversity by 2060, said demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.
By 2045, whites will represent less than half of the U.S. population under current projections.
Life Expectancy: Projections For Under Age 30
For those under age 30, the population becomes “minority white” in 2022 with the high immigration scenario. Without immigration, whites under age 30 will be in the minority by 2032.
Starting in 2030, international migration will be the biggest driver of population growth in the U.S., exceeding natural increases.
The country’s population growth will slow down over the next forty years. It will grow by about 2.3 million people a year through 2030. But it will then decrease to about 1.8 million a year from 2030 to 2040. And thereafter, even further to about 1.5 million people a year from 2040 to 2060.
Overall, these population projections are great news for senior citizens!