Senior population growth data highlights reverse mortgage potential

New data from the Administration for Community Living highlights the growth forecasted for the senior population, a sign that the reverse mortgage market will grow in the future

The senior population in the U.S., which consists of people aged 65 or older, will account for 23% of the nation’s population by 2040 — a growth of 6% compared to 2020, according to data released by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Based on the ACL data, the states with the highest population of adults ages 65 or older were Maine, Florida, West Virginia, and Vermont. Florida is currently one of the biggest reverse mortgage markets in the nation, just after California.

The growth rate for the older population in the U.S. has grown precipitously over the past century, according to the data. And with nearly a quarter of the nation on pace to be senior age within the next 20 years, the reverse mortgage product market potential will grow commensurately.

“Since 1900, the percentage of Americans age 65 and older more than quadrupled (from 4.1% in 1900 to 17% in 2020), and the number increased more than 17 times (from 3.1 million to 55.7 million),” the report states. “The older population itself became increasingly older. In 2020, the 65-74 age group (32.5 million) was more than 14 times larger than in 1900 (2.2 million); the 75-84 group (16.5 million) was 21 times larger (771,369), and the 85+ group (6.7 million) was more than 54 times larger (122,362).”

While the average life expectancy grew significantly during that time, it actually decreased in 2020 — due in large part to the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on seniors nationwide, the report notes. According to a recentWashington Post report, nearly 9 out of 10 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. were people ages 65 or older.

However, as noted by the Wall Street Journal in 2020, the pandemic also served as the impetus for new investments in aging-in-place technology. A recent report from Bank of America also indicated that members of the baby boomer generation as well as Generation X have indicated a strong desire to remain in their own homes as they grow older.

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