ATLANTA (May 2, 2016)—The U.S. Census Bureau released a new report this year that backs what Medtrade presenters and exhibitors were saying at the 2015 show in Atlanta. Demographics favor the industry, and opportunity awaits for those who are willing to pursue solutions.

An Aging World: 2015 was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report examines the demographic, health and socioeconomic trends accompanying the aging population.

“Older people are a rapidly growing proportion of the world’s population,” said Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director of the NIA. “People are living longer, but that does not necessarily mean that they are living healthier. The increase in our aging population presents many opportunities and also several public health challenges that we need to prepare for.”

“We are seeing population aging in every country in every part of the world,” said John Haaga, PhD, acting director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research in an NIH press release. “Many countries in Europe and Asia are further along in the process, or moving more rapidly, than we are in the United States. Since population aging affects so many aspects of public life—acute and long-term health care needs; pensions; work and retirement; transportation; housing—there is a lot of potential for learning from each other’s experience.”

Highlights of the report:

  • America’s 65-and-over population is projected to nearly double over the next three decades, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050.
  • By 2050, global life expectancy at birth is projected to increase by almost eight years, climbing from 68.6 years in 2015 to 76.2 years in 2050.
  • The global population of the “oldest old”—people aged 80 and older—is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050.

“We are seeing HME products march steadily towards commoditization since the implementation of NCB, but this is not necessarily a bad thing in the long run,” says Laurie Bachorek, COO, MetroCare Home Medical Equipment, Dallas. “With our elderly population set to triple by 2050, I am highly optimistic. Medtrade will be a great place to find solutions and ways to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Access the full 175-page report here.

Visit for more information. —Greg Thompson