MYTHS AND REALITIES

How well does your image of our nation’s age distribution match reality?

If you are like many, you may still imagine that we live with a population breakdown like that at the beginning of the twentieth century.  At that point, about 3 million Americans were 65 years of age or older, making up only about 3% of the population.  Those 85 years of age or older represented fewer than 100,000 individuals.  This predominantly younger population affected all aspects of the modern American’s experience, from portrayals in popular media to the way tax dollars and healthcare was allocated.  However, as changes in all of these areas of life reflect, the age-mix of the population has changed, drastically.