Census shows UA population is aging
As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, recent U.S. Census Bureau figures show that the 65-and-older population is growing faster than the rest of the population at large.
While the total number of those age 60 and over in Upper Arlington increased only slightly between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, those approaching or past retirement age currently make up about one-third of the city’s population.
“I’m not surprised by the numbers,” said Amy Schossler, executive director of the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging. “When looking at the age group of 55-64 and 65-plus, these groups combined make up over 30 percent of the population of UA. The age group 55-64 grew by nearly 4 percent, not surprising as this is the baby boomer generation.
“The other group that grew significantly is (those 85 and older), which went from approximately 800 to 1,000 people in this category.”
According to the U.S. Census, Upper Arlington had a total population in 2000 of 33,686. Out of that population, 7,725 residents were age 60 or older. Those numbers can be broken down to ages 60 to 64: 1,471; 65 to 69: 1,379; 70 to 74: 1,639; 75 to 79: 1,476; 80 to 84: 938; 85 to 89: 539; and 90 and over: 539.
In 2010, the city’s total population was 33,771, with a total of 7,823 residents age 60 or older. Those figures are broken down to 60 to 64: 2,187; 65 to 69: 1,471; 70 to 74: 1,121; 75 to 79: 1,003; 80 to 84: 1,024; and 85 and older: 1,017.
Schossler said the data show the Commission on Aging that it needs to focus on two different aspects of aging in Upper Arlington. The commission offers supportive services and resources to seniors and caregivers.
“First, for the 55 to 64 group, we will look at programs geared toward ‘aging preparedness,’” Schossler said. “This can be anything from financial and health care issues to caregiving to Medicare enrollment and consultation.”
To accomplish that goal, Schossler said, the commission will partner with the chamber of commerce’s older adult resource group to present an event next April called “Be PreparedÉ Your Future is Now,” which will include an expo on community service providers and breakout sessions on preparedness issues such as legal preparedness, navigating health care, emergency preparedness, and job and volunteer opportunities for retirees.
Schossler said the commission will also continue its focus on supportive services for seniors.
“These include the established programs like Kind Call, Project Lifesaver and the Vial of Life, as well as newer programs like A Matter of Balance and Senior Service Saturdays,” she said. “As the needs of the senior population change, we will continue to work in partnership with other community agencies to meet these needs and enhance the quality of life for seniors in Upper Arlington.”
According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population age 65 and older is now the largest in terms of size and percentage of the population, compared with any previous census.
Newly released figures from the bureau show that in 2010 there were 40.3 million people 65 and older, increasing by 5.3 million since the 2000 census when that population numbered 35 million. Between 2000 and 2010, that demographic grew by 15.1 percent, while the total U.S. population grew 9.7 percent.
The age group of 85- to 94-year-olds experienced the greatest percentage of growth in that 10-year period, increasing from 3.9 million to 5.1 million, or 29.9 percent.