Here’s my summary of the new Census projections: Fewer workers. Fewer young people. Lots more older people.

by Ryan Streeter on December 13, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

How and whether to reform entitlements remains a controversial topic.

The new Census projections show once again why entitlement reform just makes plain sense. Note these three findings:

  • The working-age population (18 to 64) is expected to increase by 42 million between 2012 and 2060, from 197 million to 239 million, while its share of the total population declines from 62.7 percent to 56.9 percent.
  • The proportion of the population younger than 18 is expected to change little over the 2012-2060 period, decreasing from 23.5 percent to 21.2 percent.
  • In 2056, for the first time, the older population, age 65 and over, is projected to outnumber the young, age under 18.

Fewer workers. Fewer young people. Lots more older people. Hardly anything looks like a common-sense call for a complete revamping of how we save and prepare for old age than these figures. That entitlement reform is so controversial is merely a reminder of how powerful near-term interests are in American public policy.