About Demographic Situation in Orange County, California
Orange County’s population is aging faster than the national average. Over the next 35 years, the proportion of our population age 65 and older will more than double, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2050, one in four Orange County residents will be age 65+, compared to one in five nationally. What’s more, the segment of our population age 85 and older will more than triple as a percentage of our population by 2060, significantly outpacing the national average.
Although only 13 percent of the U.S. population is 65 or older today, the United States Census Bureau projects the number of seniors will more than double by 2060. And locally, that growth will affect us sooner, with the proportion of older adults in Orange County increasing by more than 65 percent over the next 15 years, according to the 2013 Orange County Health Profile. As our population continues to age, a new set of needs will emerge more noticeably in Orange County. And the truth is that we are not prepared. The anticipated financial strain of this increase on our health and social services will challenge the capacity of health care providers, caregivers and community organizations. As a result, seniors may be in peril when they need us most, and an unprepared community may push our economy to the brink. Given this rapidly growing demographic, never before has Orange County faced a crisis that cuts across such a large swath of our community. The Orange County dream could become a distant memory, unless we take action now. We must tackle three key countywide issues — housing and poverty, food security and hunger, and mental health — to give the aging Orange County population the quality of life they deserve or face the possibility that our best years as a county are behind us.
As of 2016, there are 431,964 adults ages 65 years or older who live in Orange County. This represents 13.5% of Orange County’s population.1 As shown in Figure 1.1, older adults are the only age group that is projected to increase as a proportion of the population in the next 25 years. The number of older adults living in Orange County is expected to nearly double by the year 2040 when the projected older adult population will be 831,741 or 24.1% of the population.2 The population of adults 85 and older is projected to increase from 1.9% in 2015 to 4.0% in 2040. Data provided by the Orange County Healthy Aging Initiative (OCHAI).