Idaho's Aging Population: What Do These Shifts Mean?

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals significant demographic changes in Idaho's metropolitan areas from 2020 to 2023. Like much of the nation, Idaho is experiencing a notable increase in its older adult population while the number of young people is declining.

What does this mean for Idaho's future?

The state's metro areas, including Boise and Coeur d'Alene, are seeing more residents aged 65 and older. This growth aligns with national trends, driven by increased longevity and the aging baby boomer generation. With an impressive 9.4% rise in the 65 and over demographic nationwide, Idaho's communities are adapting to meet the needs of this growing segment.

The young population (ages 0-14) has decreased in many areas, challenging local schools and youth services. Nationally, this age group saw a 3.3% decline, impacting approximately 80% of metro areas. How will Idaho address the changing needs of a smaller, younger population while supporting an expanding older demographic?

The working-age population (ages 15-64) has seen modest growth, crucial for maintaining economic stability. Nationally, this group grew by 0.2%, with some metro areas experiencing even higher gains. In Idaho, a stable or growing working-age population suggests that the state can continue to support both its economy and its aging residents.

As Idaho navigates these demographic shifts, questions arise: How will healthcare and housing adapt to an older population? What strategies will be implemented to support both the young and the old? Understanding these trends is vital for planning a balanced and prosperous future for all Idahoans.

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