Senior population expected to rise

Published 10:01 am Friday, September 30, 2022

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Across the nation, 52 million Americans are 65 years or older and Lunenburg County’s population of those 65 or older accounts for 21.9%, making the county number 42 in a ranking of counties with the most seniors in Virginia.

According to data, Stacker, a data analysis company, compiled a list of counties with the most seniors in Virginia using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ranked Counties by the residents 65 years or older according to 2020 5-year estimates.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of a total population of 12,294 people in Lunenburg, the Median age is 44.5 years old. Those 18 years and younger make up 19.8%.

Nationwide, seniors will comprise more than 20% of U.S. residents in 2030, up from 15% in 2020. By 2034, older adults will outnumber children, according to Census Bureau projections.

“The size of a state’s senior population means a lot in terms of demand for resources,” said Stacker analysis.

Health care, affordable housing, assisted living, in-home and nursing care, and support services, and the quality and availability of those resources help determine where seniors migrate.

Other states around the country are ranked higher than the Commonwealth regarding the number of older people, making them their home.

A quarter of senior citizens live in just three states: California, Florida and Texas. North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska each have fewer than 150,000 senior residents.

The senior population is expected to rise over the next few years, with baby boomers moving into old age, fewer babies being born, and longer life expectancies.

The lengthening U.S. life expectancy has risen to 76 years from 68 years in 1950 up until the COVID pandemic.

According to the CDC, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. declined by nearly a year from 2020 to 2021, according to new provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). That decline – 77.0 to 76.1 years – took U.S. life expectancy at birth to its lowest level since 1996. The 0.9-year drop in life expectancy in 2021 and a 1.8-year drop in 2020 was the biggest two-year decline in life expectancy since 1921-1923.