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Technology & Innovation

The Baby-Boomers’ Economy

From the moment they entered the workforce in the 1960s, baby-boomers began to shape America’s economy and politics. They will do the same as they leave.

Retiring boomers will squeeze the economy from two directions. The number of people enrolled in Medicare will grow from 47m in 2010 to 80m in two decades’ time. Enrolment in Social Security will grow from 44m to 73m. The cost of the two programmes will grow from 8.4% of GDP in 2010 to 11.2% by 2030. Meanwhile, as boomers retire, the workforce will grow more slowly, as will the taxes to finance their benefits. The pensioner-worker imbalance and health-care inflation, which is driving up the bill for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health benefit for the poor, will send the budget deficit into the stratosphere.


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