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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

U.S. SENATE,
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING,

Washington, DC, February 27, 1987.
Hon. GEORGE BUSH,
President, U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Under authority of Senate Resolution 353, agreed to March 13, 1986, I am submitting to you the annual report of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Developments in Aging: 1986, volume 3.

Senate Resolution 4, the Committee Systems Reorganization Amendments of 1977, authorizes the Special Committee on Aging, "to conduct a continuing study of any and all matters pertaining to problems and opportunities of older people, including, but not limited to, problems and opportunities of maintaining health, of assuring adequate income, of finding employment, of engaging in productive and rewarding activity, of securing proper housing and, when necessary, of obtaining care and assistance." Senate Resolution 4 also requires that the results of these studies and recommendations be reported to the Senate annually.

This report describes actions during 1986 by the Congress, the administration, and the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging which are significant to our Nation's older citizens. It also summarizes and analyses the Federal policies and programs that are of the most continuing importance for older persons, their families, and for those who hope to become older Americans in the future.

On behalf of the members of the committee and its staff, I am pleased to transmit this report to you. Sincerely,

JOHN MELCHER, Chairman.

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CONTENTS

(V)

100TH CONGRESS

1st Session

SENATE

REPT. 100-9
Volume 3

DEVELOPMENTS IN AGING: 1986-VOLUME 3-AMERICA

IN TRANSITION: AN AGING SOCIETY

FEBRUARY 27, 1987.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. MELCHER, from the Special Committee on Aging,

submitted the following

REPORT

[Pursuant to S. Res. 353, 100th Cong.)

INTRODUCTION

America is growing older. One of the most significant demographic facts affecting America's present and future course is the aging of its population. The proportion and number of persons 65 years and older has grown and will continue to grow more rapidly than other age groups.

A quick overview of this surge in the older population highlights such facts as: Growth: -In 1900, 1 in 10 Americans was age 55 and over and 1 in 25

was age 65 and over. By 1985, 1 in 5 was at least 55 years old and 1 in 9 was at least 65. - The older population grew twice as fast as the rest of the popu

lation in the last two decades. - The median age of the U.S. population is projected to rise from

31.5 today to 36 by the year 2000. - The 85-plus population is growing especially rapidly. This "very old” population is expected to be seven times as large by the middle of the next century. - The elderly population is growing older. In 1985, 40 percent of the elderly population was age 75 and older. By the year 2000, half of the elderly population is projected to be 75-plus.

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