A Projected Older America Creates Demand for Nurses

According to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060. The population 65 and older is expected to more than double between now and 2060, bringing the total number from just over 43 million to 92 million. As the population grows older and more diverse, the demand for nurses will continue to grow. Additionally, the demand for nurses who know more than one language will also continue to grow. 

While most assume nurses who specialize in geriatrics are limited to nursing homes, the truth is, geriatric nurses have many options, including hospitals, senior centers, retirement communities, rehab facilities and even patients’ homes.  As a nurse of any type you can expect to assess a patients’ cognitive skills, understand chronic health conditions, discuss common health concerns among the general public, help aid in medication management and organization, and take vitals, among other tasks.

This data is the first set of official population projections based on the 2010 Census. Though the population is expected to grow more slowly over the next several decades, the life expectancy is expected to increase, with the increase in the number of the “oldest of old” being even more dramatic – those over 85 are expected to more than triple, from just under 6 million to 18.2 million in 2060; reaching 4.3 percent of the total population.

Other interesting aspects of the first round of Census population projections include the notion that in 2056, the older population (65+) will outnumber the young (those under 18.) Additionally, the nation’s total population will cross the 400 million mark in 2051; exceeding 420 million in 2060. This is good news for anyone considering pursuing a degree in nursing; as the population increases so will the demand for qualified and professional nurses. 

For more information about the projections, click here.