More than one in five people in the United States will be age 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age bracket, shows a new report released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
The growth in the age group will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing “that is far beyond what current supply can meet,” according to “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Adults 2015-2035.”
Households age 80 and higher are expected to increase at a higher rate than older households in general, more than doubling from 7.8 to 16.2 million by 2035, when they will represent 11 percent of all U.S. households. Most of the growth of these oldest households will occur between 2025 and 2035. By 2035, there will be 9.3 million one-person households age 80 or over, representing 57 percent of households in that age group.
“While many older adults indicate that they prefer to age in their current residences, a wider array of housing types can offer safer, more affordable and lower-maintenance homes within existing communities, improving housing situations without uprooting older adults from the places they have called home for years or even decades,” they write.
The authors also note that the nation’s older population will become more racially and ethnically diverse although “significant” shifts won’t happen until the more diverse Generation X and millennials reach retirement age. By 2035, the white share of the older population will drop from 78 percent to 69 percent, with rising shares of the black, Hispanic, Asian and other races completing the remaining 31 percent.
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