Planning for Life

We're Getting Older, But Not as Old as Some Countries

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 9, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


For better or worse, the world is getting older. In 1950, the median age in the United States was 30 and in Europe, 29. Today, it's 39 and 43, respectively. In the United States, it actually dropped a bit for two decades, with the baby boom, reaching a low of 28 in 1970, before increasing again.

The aging of the world population can be explained by a mixture of longer life expectancies, lower birth rates, and lower child mortality. As borne out in the following chart, these factors have affected the median age in all the world except for Africa.

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Topics: baby boomers, growth of elderly population, Aging Population

To Live Really Long, Be Female and Japanese

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 28, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis


According to the website of the Gerontology Research Group, of the 50 oldest people living today, 48 are women and almost half—24—are Japanese. The United States comes in second with eight so-called supercentenarians—people 110 or older—of whom one was also born in Japan. The oldest American is currently Goldie Michelson, a Massachusetts resident born in Russia who will turn 114 on August 8th. She currently ranks 11th in the world. Number 12 is also American, Adele Dunlap of New Jersey who will be 114 on December 12th.

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Topics: growth of elderly population

See the US Population Age Before Your Eyes

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 10, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis


Check out the dynamic graph below that represents the US age distribution from 1933 to 2100. It starts as a narrow pyramid with a relatively even age distribution narrowing as it gets to older ages. Then it takes on an arrowhead shape as the dearth of births during the Depression begins to work its way up through the ages.

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Topics: growth of elderly population

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