Living Longer in the United States: Demographic Changes and Health Needs of the Elderly

The changing age structure of the American population, with its growing number of elderly, has profound consequences for the nation’s economic, social, and health institutions. Recent trends in fertility, mortality, and immigration form the basis of projections to 2040, when over 20 percent of the population-already born-will be over 65 years of age. The prevalence of ill health and infirmity these changes will bring is uncertain: The inadequacies of current public programs to serve the aged, under even the most optimistic assumptions, are not.

Author(s): Dorothy P. Rice; Jacob J. Feldman

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Volume 61, Issue 3 (pages 362–396)
Published in 1983