Earlier this week, NPR covered a report from the U.S. Census Bureau that projects that “Adults 65 and older will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history by the year 2035.”
This coming shift in U.S. demographics brings with it some notable implications for U.S. society. As the NPR report clarifies, this number of elderly Americans will be so high by that time that 1 in every 5 Americans will be at retirement age. Additionally, the death rate will surpass the birth rate. Even though the U.S. population will still continue to grow, the only reason for that growth will be immigration. According to NPR, “For the first time in U.S. history, immigration, and not births, will be the main driver of the country’s population growth.”
From a common-sense perspective, this shift in the average American age is a bit of an issue. Since the number of births isn’t enough to replace those who die, the country will certainly be seeing a drop in caretakers as the population continues to age.
So, with this in the future, now is the time for Americans to decide how to treat the elderly among them. If the nation continues to buy into the lie that humans are only worth the value they bring to society, then the society is in danger of eliminating the ones among this aging generation that need the most care—much like it has eliminated the unwanted unborn.
Now is also the time for Christians to take extra steps to serve the elderly—to care for the parents who cared for them and to show them Christ’s love. This is the calling of the Christ-follower, who teaches his disciples to love and serve one another as he loves and serves them.
Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She freelances for BreakPoint.org and has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for ChristianAnswers.net/Spotlight and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at aworldofgrasspeople.blogspot.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
Publication date: March 15, 2018