Brookings Looks at the Uneven Aging and “Younging” of America

The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program released a report in June on aging trends identified in the 2010 Census, authored by William H. Frey. In the piece, Frey discusses the ways in which different age cohorts of the American population have grown, shrunk, concentrated and de-concentrated since 1990 (with particular emphasis on the decade from 2000-2010) across our nation’s state and metropolitan geographies.

One of Frey’s key takeaways is that the older population is growing rapidly in almost all parts of the country, while younger populations are growing more slowly and unevenly.

Some interesting findings that relate to the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta MSA in particular:

  • The Atlanta region’s Under-45 population grew by more then 10 percent between 2000 and 2010.
  • At the same time, our MSA’s Over-65 population grew by 44 percent (5th highest among metro areas) during the same period.
  • Despite this growth, the Atlanta region’s Over-65 population is still comparatively small as a percentage of total population (6th lowest among metro areas).
  • The region was also a fairly fast gainer of “pre-seniors” (age 55-64), although not in the top 10 in growth for this segment.

In any event, Frey’s article deserves a close read. In future posts, Land Matters will look at other demographic trends identified in Census 2010–and their implications–as they relate to the Atlanta region.

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