Graham Center One-Pager

Physician Workforce: Legal Immigrants Will Extend Baby Boom Demands



FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.


FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Oct 15;72(8):1459.

The baby boom generation will place large demands on the Medicare program and the U.S. health care system. These demands may be extended by a large legal immigrant population that will become Medicare-eligible soon after the baby boom generation does. The U.S. health care system should be prepared for sustained stress from this aging population.

The aging of the baby boom generation or age cohort (born 1947 to 1966) will result in a disproportionately large segment of the U.S. population being older than 65 years beginning in 2012.1  The sizable effect the aging of baby boomers will have on the health care system may be extended into the future by legal immigrants, who account for almost one half of the net annual increase in the U.S. population (see accompanying table).2

Components of Change in the U.S Population, 2000 to 2003

Population Annual average (million)

Natural increase*

1.6

Net immigration increase

1.3

Net change

2.9


*—Births minus deaths.

Information from reference 2.

Components of Change in the U.S Population, 2000 to 2003

View Table

Components of Change in the U.S Population, 2000 to 2003

Population Annual average (million)

Natural increase*

1.6

Net immigration increase

1.3

Net change

2.9


*—Births minus deaths.

Information from reference 2.

The age distribution of these new immigrants,3 when compared with that of the general population in 2002,4 shows a rela tively large group of persons between 25 and 44 years of age, who will become eligible for Medicare after the baby boomers do (see accompanying figure).3,4

Age Distribution of Legal Immigrants and the U.S. General Population, 2002

Figure.

Age distribution of legal immigrants and the U.S. general population, 2002.

Information from references 3 and 4.

View Large

Age Distribution of Legal Immigrants and the U.S. General Population, 2002


Figure.

Age distribution of legal immigrants and the U.S. general population, 2002.

Information from references 3 and 4.

Age Distribution of Legal Immigrants and the U.S. General Population, 2002


Figure.

Age distribution of legal immigrants and the U.S. general population, 2002.

Information from references 3 and 4.

The future population of the United States will include more older adults, as not only the baby boomers, but also these new immigrants age. An increased need for medical care by an older population probably will continue for a longer period than was anticipated.

REFERENCES

1. Green LA, Dodoo MS, Ruddy G, Fryer GE, Phillips RL, McCann JL, et al. The physician workforce of the United States: a family medicine perspective. Washington, D.C.: Robert Graham Center, 2004.

2. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.

3. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2003 Yearbook of immigration statistics. Table 6.

4. U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical abstract of the United States. 2002.

note: The information and opinions contained in research from the Graham Center do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the AAFP.

Adapted from the Graham Center One-Pager #38. Dodoo MS, Phillips RL, Green LA, Ruddy GR, McCann JL, Klein LS. Physician workforce: legal immigrants will extend baby boom demands. October 2005. Available online at: http://www.graham-center.org/onepager38.xml.

From the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, 1350 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20036 (telephone: 202-331-3360; fax: 202-331-3374; e-mail: policy@aafp.org).

 

Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Article Tools

  • Print page
  • Share this page
  • AFP CME Quiz

Information From Industry

More in Pubmed

Navigate this Article