Looming crisis as ageing U.S. population needs $400 billion boost
July 13, 2021 - The Biden administration is warning that the U.S. is heading for a dangerous economic deficit as post-WWII baby boomers become senior citizens, highlighting the need for increased federal aid.
In March, U.S. President Joe Biden proposed boosting federal medical programmes for lower-income citizens by $400 billion to fund at-home care for the elderly and infirm, but is finding it hard to gain enough support even from his own Democratic party.
Post-World War II baby boomers are now becoming senior citizens, highlighting a potentially dangerous lack of caregivers.
Presently, 16.5% of the U.S. population or 54 million people (a figure close to the entire population of Italy), are over the age of 65. By 2030, that is set to reach 74 million elderly. The number of people over the age of 85, who need the most care, is growing even more rapidly.
The global pandemic has highlighted the lack of affordable care for children, the elderly and disabled – with even some Republicans who originally opposed the spending package now seeing the need for change.
Failure to act would likely also further harm the U.S. economy by making it harder for women (who left jobs in their millions during the Covid-19 pandemic to look after out-of-school children and/or elderly relatives), to return to work.
- Ageing population to hit U.S. economy like a 'ton of bricks' – U.S. commerce secretary (Reuters)
- 2020 population breakdown (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Maps of U.S. population 65 and older (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Employment in the United States from 2012 to 2022 (Statista)
- When does a senior citizen on social security stop filing taxes? (Intuit)