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September 13, 2012
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Aging Douglas could be worse

By the year 2030, the number of Douglas County residents 65 year or older will rise from a fifth of the population to more than a third.

Last week, State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle told county commissioners that the county's population is estimated to remain flat but the number of residents 65 or older will rise from 9,737 in 2010 to 16,958 in 2030.

The aging population poses some serious issues for the county ranging from the availability of workers to an increased need for emergency services.

However, we've rarely met a long-term trend that panned out.

Some estimates predicted there would be 63,000 people in Douglas County by 2015. Unless 16,000 people show up in the next three years, that's unlikely to happen.

Hardcastle's projection seems plausible given our current status, but we know the current status is more often a snapshot than an indication of a trend.

And even if it's true, there are a lot of 65-year-olds in Douglas County now who are doing the work of 50-year-olds.

We're seeing that now in every sector of our population. And once the economy starts to pick up again, we'll find that will explode the model of the past.

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The Record Courier Updated Sep 13, 2012 07:29PM Published Sep 13, 2012 07:27PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.