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
|Population||Annual average (million)|
|Net immigration increase||1.3|
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.