Aging Boomers Alter Workforce

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The number of adults in the prime working-age range of 25 to 64 will rise to 183 million in 2035, up from 173 million in 2015—a much slower rate of growth than in the past

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May 01, 2017

The U.S. labor force is expected to change in the coming decades as Baby Boomers retire.

Pew Research found that the number of adults in the prime working-age range of 25 to 64 will rise to 183 million in 2035, from 173 million in 2015—a much slower rate of growth than in decades past. The working-age population grew from 97 million in 1975 to 138 million in 2005, and has expanded by 35 million since.

The youngest Baby Boomers will turn 65 by 2030, and by 2035, Boomers are projected to outnumber 25-to-45-year-olds born to U.S.-born parents 79 million to 60 million.

The share of U.S.-born working-age adults with U.S.-born parents will decline from 128 million to 120 million by 2035, and immigration will make up the difference. 

The number of U.S.-born adults with an immigrant parent will rise to 25 million in 2035, from 11 million in 2015. The working-age immigrant population will rise to 39 million from 34 million during that same time. Projections are based on current immigration rates.

In 2035, 66 percent of working-age adults will be born in the U.S. to U.S.-born parents, 13 percent will be U.S.-born with an immigrant parent, and 21 percent will be foreign-born. In 2015, that split was 74 percent, 6 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.

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