They say that Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. This would mean to many to be somewhere between the ages of 40 and 60- with an ‘ish’ possibly thrown in there.
According to the US Census, middle age is both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54.
Many middle-agers are also boomers. A baby boomer is of course a person born during the Post-World War II baby boom.
According to the National Institute on aging… as boomers age, trends change.
Population – The demographics of aging in the United States continue to change dramatically, as the baby boomers accelerate growth in the percentage and numbers of older people and other important parameters change.
In 2006, an estimated 37 million people in the United States—12 percent of the population—were 65 and older. Projections forecast that by 2030, approximately 71.5 million people will be 65 and older, representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population.
In 1965, 24 percent of older adults had graduated from high school, and 5 percent had bachelor’s degrees. By 2007, 76 percent were high school graduates, and 19 percent had at least a bachelor’s degree. Substantial educational differences exist among racial and ethnic groups. Eighty-one percent of non-Hispanic whites age 65 and older had finished high school in 2007, compared with 72, 58 and 42 percent, respectively, of older Asians, blacks and Hispanics.
Economics – More older people enjoy increased prosperity than any previous generation, with an increase in higher incomes and a decrease in the proportion of older people with low incomes and in poverty. However, major inequalities continue to exist for older blacks and for people without high school diplomas, who report smaller economic gains and fewer financial resources.
Income generally rose between 1974 and 2006. The proportion of older people with incomes below the poverty line went from 15 percent to 9 percent; those categorized with low income dropped from 35 percent to 26 percent; those with high incomes increased from 18 percent to 29 percent.
More older people, especially women, continued to work past age 55.
Health Status – Americans’ longevity continues to increase, although life expectancy at age 65 in the United States is lower than that of other industrialized countries. While older people experience a variety of chronic health conditions that often accompany aging, the rate of functional limitations among people age 65 and older has declined in recent years.
Life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than that of many high-income countries, such as Canada, France, Sweden and Japan. For example, in 2003, women age 65 in Japan could expect to live 3.2 years more on average than women in the United States, with the difference among men at 1.2 years. In the early 1980s, U.S. women age 65 had one of the highest average life expectancies in the world, but over the next two decades, the life expectancies of older women in many countries surpassed that of women in the United States.
Factors affecting the health and well-being of older Americans, such as smoking history, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations and mammogram screenings, are key indicators that have shown long-term improvements but no significant change in recent years.
Health Care – Health care costs, particularly for prescription drugs, have risen dramatically for older Americans.
Between 1992 and 2004, average inflation-adjusted health care costs for older Americans increased from $8,644 to $13,052. Costs varied by race and ethnic group, income and health status.