APA Policy Guide on Aging in Community
Resource: Aging in Community Talking Points
Advance Aging-Friendly policies in your community
This tool breaks down APA's six guiding principles for navigating the economic, social, and health challenges that can arise when communities do not plan for the aging population.
Adopted July 18, 2014
America is aging — rapidly. Older adults — 65 and over — represent 13 percent of the population today. By 2030, one in every five people living in the US will be over the age of 65. This aging of America is fueled by 72 million baby boomers aging through the life cycle in combination with a profound increase in longevity. Average life expectancy doubled from the mid-30s in the 19th century to age 78 today. Currently there are more than 70,000 centenarians in the United States, roughly four times the number from just 10 years ago. And according to the U.S. Census, that number will likely exceed 1 million by 2050.
The American Planning Association (APA) recognizes that the aging of the population creates a unique opportunity and responsibility to apply sound planning approaches and policy to improve communities to serve the spectrum of needs and abilities of older adults. APA supports the creation and integration of housing, land-use, transportation, economic, social service and health systems that support a high quality of life for people of all ages and abilities. A multigenerational planning approach ensures that the needs of all residents are met and that older members of our communities are not at risk of social isolation, poverty, declining health, and poor economic well-being.
The planning community can be a leader in encouraging comprehensive approaches and in mobilizing resources to enhance the quality of life of our aging population.