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As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement and life expectancy continues to increase the US finds itself in the midst of a demographic revolution The senior population is twice what it was in 1960 and is expected to double again over the next thirty years By the middle of the 21st century seniors will outnumber children and youth for the first time Furthermore the trend is true worldwide Few other changes are likely to exert as great an influence on society in the coming decades Aging populations will have a pivotal impact on the economic social and political components of our society A combination of declining birth rates and increasing longevity is resulting in a boom in the over 60 population Almost 13 percent of the US about one in every eight is over the age of 65 When the baby boom generation begins turning 65 years old in about thirteen years there will be a rapid increase with 20 of our population being over 65 years old The most rapidly growing group of all are the oldest old those people 85 years and older By the year 2010 this group will grow by 56 as compared with 13 of the population aged 65 to 84 Globally there are currently 600 million persons 60 years or older 10 percent of the worlds population By 2050 the UN estimates that the number of older persons will triple to approximately two billon or 22 of the worlds population Along with an aging population fertility rates have declined from 28 children per woman to 16 children per woman since 1950 The worlds average mortality rate has declined from 20 to 10 deaths annually per 1000 people contributing to a rise in average life expectancy from 44 to 66 years In the US the statistics are more striking in 1876 life expectancy was 40 years old and the median age was 21 Today the life expectancy of men is
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