By 2030, Washington State’s elderly population is forecasted to reach nearly 1.7 million people, or 1/5 of the state’s total population. This is in contrast to the nearly 460,000 people over 65 in the 2010 Census.
In particular, from 2000 to 2010, Seattle actually realized a decrease in the number of people 65 and better according to the 2010 Census. However, during the same time Seattle saw its greatest growth in the 55 to 64 range. This dip of elders may create a false sense that action can be delayed in improving systems within the city to accommodate the pending graying of the Emerald City, however, now is the best time to prepare.
Today, three generations make up the 65 and better population. These include:
GI or Greatest Generation with people born between 1900 and 1924. As a group, the Census Bureau shows that in 2010, we currently had 1.9 million 90+ olds in the United States representing 4.7 percent of those 65 and better versus just 2.8 percent in 1980. This group is often identified with great sacrifice during WW II, and being parents of the “Baby Boom” generation.
Silent Generation with people born between 1925 and 1945. Most of this generation remembers the hardship of the great depression as children, and work hard to prevent such occurrences in their personal lives, resulting in a relatively ambitious generation.
Baby Boomer Generation with people born between 1946 and 1964. With 76 million children born into this generation, this group has lived through some of the most dramatic social changes in the history of the United States. Right now, this generation is faced with the task of both caring for their aging parents (many in the GI Generation) and supporting their children financial.