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Aging America: Driving the Demand for Healthcare Real Estate

Since 2011, the baby boomer generation has been reaching the age of 65, an age at which they join the group of Americans using the bulk of healthcare resources. A generation of about 76 million people today will continue to turn 65 through the year 2030.

However, because of advances in modern medicine helping people live longer with chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, this generation will outlive previous generations and continue to require ongoing healthcare services well into 2050 and beyond.

Research estimates that by 2030:1

  • The over 65 population will increase from about 13% in 2010 to over 20%.
  • More than six of every 10 Boomers will be managing more than one chronic condition.
  • 93 million people will be considered obese.
  • 46 million people will be living with diabetes.
  • 67 million people will be living with arthritis.

Research estimates that by 2050:2

  • The over 85 population will increase from about 2.5% of the total population in 2030 to just under 5%.
  • 14 million people will be living with Alzheimer’s disease, a growth from 5 million in 2013.
  • Social Security and Medicare expenditures are projected to reach a combined 12% of GDP by 2050, a growth from 8% in 2015.

Not only will current healthcare facilities remain viable commodities for decades to come, but new facilities and resources will have to be established to meet the needs of this aging generation. Senior housing and care facilities look to face unprecedented demand.

By 2030:

  • 1.9 million people are expected to require nursing home care, a growth from 1.2 million in 2017.3
  • Demand for assisted living facilities is expected to almost double from the estimated over 1 million people today.4

This surge in healthcare demand will not end with the baby boomers. As future generations reach 65, life expectancies are projected to be even longer. Unless medical advances find a way to cure the aging conditions, the longer people live, the more they’ll require ongoing treatments to help them live a quality life while enduring one chronic condition on top of another. Senior housing has already outperformed other noted real estate sectors, and we believe it will continue to be a favorable opportunity in the coming years due to these impressive demographic fundamentals.

1. An Aging Nation: The Older Populations in the United States published by U.S. Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf
2. The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2016 to 2060 published by U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1141.pdf
3. PBR analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey and Population Projections https://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/
4. The SBDC National Information Clearinghouse http://www.sbdcnet.org/small-business-research-reports/assisted-living-facilities

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