The term baby boomer describes people born between 1946 and 1964. The baby boomers were part of the post-World War II spike in birth rates. In 1900, thirteen percent of the population was age 50 and over. In 2002, it was over twenty-seven percent. By 2020, it will be over thirty-five percent. The size of the 50 plus population will more than double in the next 35 years. Our nation faces a demographic revolution as 78 million boomers enter their retirement years. A baby boomer turns 60 every 7.5 seconds. This demographic shift will result in tremendous changes in the workplace, civic organization and healthcare.
"According to Census Bureau estimates, in 2019, when the last of the baby boomers (those born between 1949 and 1964) have reached age 55, nearly twenty-nine percent of the total United States population will be age 55 and older, compared with twenty-one percent today" Source: Government Accountability Office, "Older Workers: Demographic Trends Post Challenges for Employers and Workers," 2001. Page 1.
Business and 50 Plus Workers
According to AARP studies in 2001, 2005 and 2006, a majority of businesses are not yet preparing for an older workforce.
Many employers are slow to accommodate or adapt to older workers, because of negative stereotypes and outdated notions about the value of older workers. Source: American Council on Education (MetLife Foundation funded study), "Framing New Terrain: Older Adults and Higher Education," October 2007, p.16.