Demographic Population in Mesa, Arizona
Like the rest of the country, Arizona is aging. By the year 2020, more than 1 in 4 people in Arizona will be over age 60 (26%), up from about 1 in 6 (17%) in 2000.1 Arizona has long been seen as a great "snowbird" state, with thousands of seniors flocking here each winter to enjoy the mild weather and abundant natural beauty. Increasingly, however, the overall population of Arizona has also been growing. During the last decade, Arizona’s population grew by 40% - the second fastest growth in the nation - and we’re still growing! A significant amount of this growth was in the age 60+ population, with those over age 85 increasing at 82% - faster than any other age group.2 In 2005 the U.S. Bureau of the Census indicated that this growth trend is expected to continue, with the over-65 age group quadrupling by 2030, resulting in as many older people living in Arizona as there are kids under age 17
Demographics of Aging Between 1990 and 2000, growth in the number of Arizona elderly was rapid, albeit slightly less rapid than growth in the state’s total population—38.0 percent versus 40.0 percent (Table 1). Although the total retirement-age population grew at the state’s average, different age cohorts of elderly grew at dramatically different rates: 33.2 percent for persons sixty to sixty-four years of age, 25.4 percent for persons sixty-five to seventy-four, 55.9 percent for persons seventy-five to eighty-four, and 81.8 percent for persons older than eighty-five years. The tendency for the very old to grow fastest resulted in an aging of the aged.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security2 projects that the number of elderly (persons over the age of sixty years) in the state will grow from around 900,000 in 2000, representing some 18 percent of the population to 1.8 million and 24 percent in 2020 and almost three million and 26 percent of the population in 2050 (Figures 1 and 2). Increases in the size and proportion of elderly have important health care ramifications as doctor visits and hospitalization increase with age. Persons age seventy-five and older average three times more office visits than persons age fifteen to twenty-four. The three major reasons are for general medical examination, postoperative care, and blood pressure screening. The likelihood of hospitalization similarly increases with age with persons eighty-five and older 2.1 times more likely than those sixty-five to seventy-four to be admitted to Arizona hospitals.
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