The United States is in the midst of a profound demographic transformation that will long outlast the current economic downturn. In 2011, the first of the baby boomers—Americans born between 1946 and 1964—turned 65 years old. There are 77 million baby boomers, comprising nearly one quarter of the total population, and their eventual retirement will have an enormous impact on the U.S. economy.
There will be growing demand within the U.S. economy for younger workers and taxpayers as the number of working-age adults supporting those over 65 diminishes. More and more of these workers and taxpayers will be immigrants and the children of immigrants. Given these trends, and given the size of the predominantly white, native-born baby boom generation that is now heading into retirement, projections point to an inescapable conclusion: immigrants and the children of immigrants will play increasingly important roles within the U.S. economy as workers and taxpayers for decades to come.
- The Future of a Generation: How New Americans Will Help Support Retiring Baby Boomers, by Walter Ewing, Ph.D. (IPC Fact Check, February 2012)