Despite fears, aging population has financial benefits

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9 2013 10:58 a.m. MST

93-year-old Florence "Tubby" Parsons, left, and Penny Walsh, 41, sit in Parson's apartment in Winooski, Vt., Monday, Oct. 30, 2006. Walsh, the former tenant of Parsons, now works as her in-home caregiver under the state's "Choices for Care" program, doing cleaning and other jobs Parsons can't. Although there are concerns with upcoming retirement of baby boomers, there are benefits of the aging population as well.

TOBY TALBOT, AP

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SALT LAKE CITY — Financially, older populations have a bad reputation for their effects on the economy, but living in an old-age city is a benefit according to a CNBC article.

In a recent study by New Geography, Salt Lake City is listed as the 50th oldest metropolitan area, with 12.7 percent of the population over 60. This is a 19.3 percent growth in the past 10 years. Pittsburgh is the oldest-aged in the nation, which means 23.6 percent of the population is 60 or older.

As the increased need of health care productivity grows, so do the technologies that go with it. In an effort to increase productivity to lower costs, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides $19 billion to promote use in technology.

“The aging population is one of the most key issues facing the U.S. and most other Western countries. Given the high level of inefficiency in the health care ecosystem today, there is significant potential to reduce costs while still protecting the financial interest of all the stakeholders,” said Rizwan Koita, author of the CNBC article and co-founder of CitiusTech.

Judith Healy, in a study on benefits coming from the aging baby boomers, said the typical economic issues that are linked with an aging population may not be completely true.

“No relationship is evident between population aging and the level of health costs in industrialized countries,” Healy said in the study.

As an Australian, she looked at the affects from an international view, observing multiple countries. In Italy, which has one of the highest percentages of the population over 65 years old, the health spending proportion is almost the lowest of the six countries analyzed, including Australia, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland.

As health industries grow in productivity, costs can go down thanks to the demand that comes from the aging baby boomers.

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