Aging and Disability

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The elderly population of the United States is large and growing rapidly. In 2000, there were 35 million persons aged 65 and older, making up 12% of the total population. This population is projected to exceed 86 million by 2050, making up 21% of the total (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). The oldest segment of the elderly population is growing particularly rapidly, with the population aged 85 and over projected to grow more than five-fold between 2000 and 2050, from 4 million to 21 million. Since disability rates rise with age, there is a strong likelihood that population aging will bring large increases in the number of disabled persons. This will have important implications for the housing industry and housing policy in the United States and will require the attention of federal, state, and local planners.

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