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Between 2010 and 2030, the number of adults age 65+ is expected to nearly double, while the number of younger residents will increase only modestly. Around 2020, Minnesota's 65+ population is expected to surpass the 5-17 school-age population for the first time. This major demographic shift will have widespread impact on our economy, workforce, housing, health care system, social services, and civic institutions.

What's happening

why it matters

Understanding the amount of income and income disparities among older adults can help individuals, families, communities, and policy makers plan for and respond to the financial needs of later life. A report from the Urban Institute finds today's older adults are generally better able to work than previous generations because health has improved at older ages and jobs have become less physically demanding. In fact, one-quarter of adults age 65-74 in Minnesota continue to work. However, a fact sheet from AARP reports that Social Security is the only source of income for almost three in ten Minnesotans age 65+.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to build relationships, to use one's talents and to discover a sense of purpose, all of which supports the health of older adult volunteers. Older adults who "give back" also provide tremendous in-kind benefits to our community. The nearly 287,000 volunteers age 65+ contribute an estimated $459 million of donated labor annually to Minnesota (based on 80 volunteer hours per year at a rate of $20 per hour). 

Disabilities become more common with age. Communities need to adequately plan for and respond to needs to enable older adults to continue living well, including providing accessible housing, alternative forms of transportation, and adequate healthcare.  There is also a need to recognize the growing number of spouses and family members who serve as informal caregivers. They require support, resources, and respite from providing care to maintain their own health.


Craig Helmstetter

Our baby boomer population is like a jet airplane that has just lifted off. Compass Project Manager Craig Helmstetter highlights 5 implications for Minnesota.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
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