In 2030, Americans 65 and older will outnumber children younger than 18 for the first time in the country’s history, according to a new U.S. Census report.
By 2035, the projections suggest 1 in 5 people—78 million—will be of retirement age, compared with 76.7 million school-age children.
During the same time, the Census estimates less than half of U.S. children will be non-Hispanic white alone, and the percentage of multiracial children is expected to more than double, from 5.3 percent today to 11.3 percent in 2060. By that year, about 36 percent of children will be only non-Hispanic white, while more than 55 percent of retirement-age Americans will be non-Hispanic white.
The Census indicates the changes come from new population models that better reflect falling death rates and longer life expectancy for immigrants in the United States. Those demographic changes may alter teacher-staffing pools and community support for public schools.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2018 edition of Education Week as Community Engagement