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A Worrying Shift for Pensions: Retirees Will Soon Outnumber Kids

  • By 2030, about one in five residents will be retirement age
  • Fewer employees contribute to pension pot as more retire
Getting older can bring senior health challenges
Photographer: PeopleImages/E+

For those worried about the ability of U.S. state and local governments to cover promised pension checks, the Census Bureau announced a milestone that should add to their fears: by 2030, for the first time, senior citizens will outnumber children.

In 12 years, about one in five Americans will be of retirement age, and by 2035, those 65 and older will outnumber those under 18 by about 2 million, according to the latest estimates released by the agency. The consequences are wide-ranging, from the solvency of Social Security to increased health-care costs for an aging population.