Working Papers

Long-Term Demographic Forecasts and Implications for Health Care Resources and Repurposing

Eric Nauenberg, Carita Ng

We examine long-term demographic forecasts to determine whether increases in the senior population will be followed by a decrease once the baby-boom generation passes. Planners may therefore need to flexibly assign resources to allow for future repurposing of investments. Forecasts in the U.S. and Canada indicate that the number of seniors in the population will plateau by the year 2045 with levels roughly maintained until at least 2060; thus, repurposing may be unnecessary. Increases in life-expectancy, immigration age structures, and echoes of the baby-boom generation in later years are expected to help maintain this plateau. While there is no observable decrease in the senior population by 2060, there is uncertainty around the expected rate of decline in health of this generation. Depending on this trajectory, community-level social supports could play a large role in maintaining senior health and independence as long as possible.

Download Paper


Paper Keywords

demographics, seniors, social supports, health, human resources