A giant aging wave will overtake Minnesota in the coming decade, according to new projections released by the Minnesota State Demographic Center. During the coming decade, the number of Minnesotans ages 55 to 69 is projected to grow by 239,000, accounting for almost half of total population growth.
“We have been predicting this for a long time, and now it’s here,” said Martha McMurry, a research analyst at the State Demographic Center. She added that the aging trend has many implications for state and local governments, businesses and individuals. Health care costs will continue to be a major issue as boomers develop cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Employers will need to replace and train the large numbers of people who will be retiring. And, as boomers retire and their incomes decrease, income tax revenues may have trouble keeping pace with the demand for services.
The most rapid growth in the older population will occur in suburban counties such as Scott, Sherburne and Carver. People who were young or middle-aged adults when they moved to the suburbs 10, 20 or 30 years ago are now passing their 55th or 65th birthdays.
The aging trend is expected to persist beyond 2015 as the giant baby boom generation continues to age. Between 2005 and 2035, the population over age 65 will grow by almost 770,000, or 125 percent. The population under 65 will increase only 10 percent during the same period. The proportion of the population 65 or older will go from about 12 percent now to 22 percent by 2035.