America is getting older. Fast. Baby boomers -- the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964 -- are rapidly hitting retirement age. The oldest boomers turned 65 last year, and for the next two decades, Americans will hit that age at a rate of 8,000 a day. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another five boomers will have reached 65.
That massive transition marks an unprecedented demographic upheaval -- and a historic challenge for government. Much of the discussion about the so-called silver tsunami involves the impending pressures on federal entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. But the wave of aging Americans poses sweeping challenges to states and localities as well.
To examine and analyze these issues, Governing is launching a multiple-part series on aging in America. Beginning in September, and continuing for the next few months, we're exploring the impact of this generational shift through in-depth stories in the magazine as well as additional data and interactive content at governing.com/generations.
By 2030, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. States and localities had better get ready.