More Warnings of the Problems Facing U.S. Aging, Declining Population

Other posts have warned about the problems facing the U.S.’ aging, declining population and the corresponding need for increased immigration.[1]

This was emphasized by a recent Washington Post article about developments in the State of Maine.[2] “Last year, Maine crossed a crucial aging milestone: A fifth of its population is older than 65, which meets the definition of ‘super-aged,’ according to the World Bank.”

“Across Maine, families . . . are being hammered by two slow-moving demographic forces — the growth of the retirement population and a simultaneous decline in young workers — that have been exacerbated by a national worker shortage pushing up the cost of labor. The unemployment rate in Maine is 3.2 percent, below the national average of 3.7 percent.”

“With its 65-and-older population expected to grow by 55 percent by 2026, Maine needs more nurses, more home-care workers and more physicians than ever to keep pace with demand for long-term-care services. . . . But the rising demand for care is occurring simultaneously with a dangerously low supply of workers. About one-third of Maine’s physicians are older than 60. In several rural counties in the state, close to half of the registered nurses are 55 or older and expected to retire or cut back their hours within a decade.”

This “disconnect between Maine’s aging population and its need for young workers to care for that population is expected to be mirrored in states throughout the country over the coming decade, demographic experts say. And that’s especially true in states with populations with fewer immigrants, who are disproportionately represented in many occupations serving the elderly, statistics show.”

Indeed, by “2026, Maine will be joined by more than 15 other states, . . . including Vermont and New Hampshire; . . . Montana; Delaware; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Pennsylvania. Over a dozen more will meet that criterion by 2030.” Moreover, in the U.S. as a whole, “the number of seniors will grow by more than 40 million, approximately doubling between 2015 and 2050, while the population older than 85 will come close to tripling.”


[1] See these posts to dwkcommentaries: More Immigrants Needed in U.S. (June 23, 2018); Federal Reserve Bank Endorses Need for More Immigrants (Nov. 11, 2018);  “America’s Farms Need More Immigrants” (Mar. 22, 2019); Businesses Need More Immigrants (Mar. 24, 2019); U.S. Construction Industry Needs More Immigrants (April 3, 2019); Additional Support for U.S. Needing More Immigrants (May 18, 2019).

[2] Stein, ‘This will be catastrophic’: Maine families face elder boom, worker shortage in preview of nation’s future, Wash. Post (Aug. 14, 2019).