Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637 | Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lorraine T. Dorfman
The adoption of laws pertaining to older people as a demographic group, as well as the development of an elder law specialty, reflects a steadily growing older population in the United States and elsewhere. Population aging, which is occurring worldwide, presents numerous challenges to society in terms of support and protection for older people, particularly the very old. In the United States, the number of persons age sixty-five and older is expected to double by 2030 to 71.5 million, representing an increase from 12.4 percent in the early twenty-first century to 20 percent in 2030. Persons eighty-five years old and older are the fastest-growing group of older people in the United States, and persons eighty years old and older are the fastest-growing group worldwide. Many European countries have a higher proportion of older people in their populations than does the United States, with Italy and Sweden having the highest. Population ...