The Elderly in an Aging America

August 19, 1988

Report Outline
Special Focus


The American population is rapidly getting older. In 2011, the first of the baby boom generation will turn 65. By 2030, at least one in five Americans will be elderly—a higher proportion than exists in Florida today. Society may well be very different, and some people are already worried—about the old folks of tomorrow and their grandchildren as well.

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There is a wide gap between the common perception of what old age is like and what it really is. Most of America's 29.8 million elderly people are not poor. Most are not disabled. And most of those who are disabled are not in nursing homes.

“The impression that the overwhelming issue with older people is being institutionalized and being comatose [is] just a wild distortion,” says Lydia Bronte, co-editor of Our Aging Society. Institutionalization and disability may be “a very serious problem” for a minority of elderly people, she says, “but 85 percent of everybody over 65 is really in pretty good shape.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Older Americans and Senior Citizens
Jun. 07, 2019  The Retirement Crunch
Sep. 30, 2011  Prolonging Life
Mar. 15, 2011  The Graying Planet
Oct. 13, 2006  Caring for the Elderly
Feb. 20, 1998  Caring For the Elderly
Aug. 01, 1997  Age Discrimination
Dec. 06, 1991  Retiree Health Benefits
Aug. 19, 1988  The Elderly in an Aging America
Nov. 21, 1986  Home Health Care
Aug. 06, 1982  Housing Options for the Elderly
Nov. 10, 1971  Plight of the Aged
Nov. 06, 1963  Nursing Homes and Medical Care
May 20, 1959  Housing for the Elderly
Sep. 04, 1957  Health of the Aged
Aug. 01, 1949  Older People
Mar. 29, 1938  The Job Problem for Older Workers
Elderly Health Issues
Lobbying and Special Interests
Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities