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By Mark J. Perry


Bill McBride at Calculated Risk provides the interesting animated chart above of America’s population distribution by age from 1900 through 2060 (updates every few seconds in five-year intervals), based on population data from the Census Bureau (actual data through 2010 and projections through 2060). Bill provides these comments:

1. In 1900, the graph was fairly steep, but with improving health care, the graph has flattened out over the last 100 years.

2. Prior to 1940, the oldest age group was 75+ years. From 1940 through 1985, the oldest group was 85+ and starting in 1990, the oldest group is 100+.

3. Watch for the original baby bust preceding the baby boom (the decline in births prior to and during the Depression) — these are the people currently in retirement.

4) The start of the Baby Boom in 1945 is pretty obvious.

5) By 2020 or 2025, the largest age cohorts will all be under 40.

FTU Note:  You can learn more about the realities of population change by taking FTU’s offering, “Is Population Growth a Problem?” Click here for more information:

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