Americans View “Aging Population” as a Critical Government Priority

Survey Ranks “Aging Population” as a Top Tier Issue Along With “Economy” and “Jobs”

NEW YORK (Feb. 10, 2011) – A clear majority of Americans say the aging of the U.S. population and the anticipated economic and social consequences should be a top priority for policymakers in the new Congressional session, according to the results of a national survey released today.

Among a random sample of 1,000 Americans 18 or older interviewed in January 2011 at the time of the State of the Union Address, 85 percent believe the unprecedented age demographic shift underway will have a long-term impact on health care costs, federal and state budget deficits and society as a whole. Respondents ranked the consequences of aging as the most important issue the nation faces after the economy and job creation. The study was commissioned by the Global Coalition on Aging and conducted by Consensus Research Group, Inc.

“Americans understand the critical importance of aging as a core driver for change, and it is at the top of their agenda. Around the world – from European countries, throughout Asia, and in several large Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil – there are similar attitudes. In these locations, as in the U.S., it is increasingly apparent that addressing the massive challenge of fiscal sustainability will depend on innovative solutions for their aging populations. The best approaches will be those that can enable citizens to stay healthier longer and productively contribute to their nation’s economic vitality,” said Michael Hodin, Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging.

Virtually all survey respondents in the 55 and older cohort (93%) ranked the aging of the U.S. population as one of the top five priority issues for the incoming Congress. That percentage was only slightly lower for the 18-34 age group (72%), confirming that aging is a major concern for all Americans.

“The noise level of media coverage of events often blurs underlying public concerns about long-term problems. Americans of all generations – already recognizing the implications of the nation’s aging population – are concerned about its future impact on their families and believe that their political leaders have a responsibility to address their concerns,” said Tully Plesser, Chairman of Consensus Research Group, Inc.

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