Over the next 30 years, the US population age 65+ will double from 40 million to 80 million, and the share of old people will increase from 13% to 20%. By the time the last baby boomer turns 65 in 2029, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. By 2032, there will be more people age 65 or older than children under 15.

At the same time, there will be fewer and fewer potential workers per retiree, just as the financial and social costs of an aging population are increasing. Without policy and behavioral changes, the fiscal burden on individual workers and taxpayers will skyrocket. The personal financial burden will also increase as people spend more years in retirement and reach older and older ages, with greater needs for personal care and other services.

Despite rapid growth in the older age brackets, the United States will remain relatively young compared with other advanced economies and is one of only a few advanced economies with a growing workforce. Understanding the competitive environment is critical if we are to capitalize on our potential demographic strengths.