Why is the US Census So Important to States like Colorado as the US Population Ages?
The population of the United States is reaching a point where there will be more seniors than non-seniors. After World War II, the population increased rapidly and created the baby boom. This segment of the population is significantly larger than the age groups before or after it, which means that there will be a large shift in the population as this group gets older.
For places like Colorado, the U.S. Census plays an important part in how the state can handle its increase in senior citizens. Here is a deeper look at why the U.S. Census is so important to states like Colorado as the population ages.
Seniors in Colorado
The population boom after WWII created an anomaly in the size of generations. Until then, every generation increased in size. However, the baby boom made a generation that is significantly larger than the generation before or after it. This means that a large portion of the state’s population is the same age and has the same senior care needs at the same time.
According to research done by Infoplease, 31.4% of Colorado’s population is aged between 35 and 54. This group is quickly reaching retirement age and will need senior care in the coming years. This trend shows a significant increase in the number of people needing senior care at the same time. Currently, only 9.7% of Colorado’s population needs senior care (65 and older), which means that there will be an increase of up to 21.7% (191,214 people) in a system that currently supports approximately 41,000 people.
Why The Census Matters
Every ten years, the U.S. issues a census to count the number of people in each state. Alongside a head count, the census collects valuable information that is used to help allocate federal funding and other resources to each state.
For example, a state with a massive increase in the number of school-aged kids may not have the resources needed to send all of those kids to school. The federal government can allocate funds to help correct the problem quickly, such as by building new schools to accommodate the increased number of students. The same applies to senior services within the state, and having access to more funding and resources can make a big difference in the outcome.
This is why the census is so important to states like Colorado. It gives them a more accurate reading of how many seniors they will need to care for soon and can help those states get support outside the state.
How This Helps Seniors
One of the biggest areas where every state needs government help is in senior care. Every state is experiencing an increase in seniors thanks to the baby boom. As a result, the senior care systems distributed across the country need to be improved and expanded. The census makes it easier to support senior care systems at the state and local levels.
Census data and the related support that states get is distributed locally. This means that senior care facilities and resources receive more support in areas that are needed most. That way, money is not being wasted to improve support beyond what each area needs and more seniors have access to care.
Outlook for Seniors Going Forward
The increase in the number of seniors in the coming decades is a potential problem since it could stretch senior care resources thin. Fortunately, state, local, and federal governments know the coming problem. Efforts to increase spending on senior care resources are already underway, and many states like Colorado are looking for ways to help seniors get what they need.
If you or a loved one are in need of senior care resources, one of the best places to start is a care provider like Gardens Care. We have senior care homes around Colorado that provide memory care, senior care, and other assistive services. Start planning early by calling us at 303-566-1085 to discuss your senior care needs.Image copyright Antwon Mcmullen | Dreamstime.com