October 5, 2006
North Dakota Baby Boomers Impact Age Distribution
North Dakota’s baby-boom generation, the large age group born during the 20-year period after World War II, is growing older and having an impact on the state’s age distribution. The 45 to 64 age group, which includes a large proportion of these baby boomers, increased by 27,032, or 19.5 percent (138,864 to 165,896 residents), from 2000 through 2005.
This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, presents the July 1, 2005, population estimates by age as released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Branch.
These estimates reveal that an increase in people ages 45 to 64 was seen through most of the nation. Nationally, the number of people ages 45 to 64 grew 17.6 percent.
Projections indicate that as baby boomers continue to age, North Dakota’s senior population (age 65 and older) will grow considerably, reaching nearly 150,000 by 2020 (up from 93,650 in 2005).
“The dramatic shift in elderly within North Dakota is something most of us have heard about, but I don’t believe we really appreciate the magnitude of the change that will occur and the resulting impact,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “We need to position ourselves for some significant shifts.”
In terms of overall population statewide, the gain in North Dakotans ages 45 to 64 was offset by a loss of children ages 0 to 19. From 2000 through 2005, children ages 0 to19 decreased by 26,975, or 14.7 percent (183,464 to 156,489). Nationally, the number of children grew 1.6 percent.
Other changes to North Dakota’s age distribution from 2000 through 2005 include a 14.9 percent increase in young adults ages 20 to 29 (from 89,295 to 102,598) and a 13.3 percent decrease in people ages 30 to 44 (often considered the prime working-age group) from 136,099 to 118,044.
Despite shifts in the age composition throughout the state, the overall population in North Dakota dropped less than 1 percent from 2000 through 2005, a decline of 5,523 people.
Rathge, (701) 231-8621, firstname.lastname@example.org
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