December 9, 2016 – The Greater Mankato area is home to a rising number of elderly people as the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age, which could cause rippling effects on the region. 

The number of Minnesota residents 65 years or older grew from 12.6 percent of the population to 13.9 percent between the 2006 to 2010 and the 2011 to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey report.

“In particular in Blue Earth County and Nicollet County we see statistically significant increases in people older than 60,” said Minnesota State Demographer Susan Bower. “We’ve predicted this in the past and now we are seeing it become reality in the data.”

Bower said specifically the population of people between the ages of 60 and 75 has grown in the last decade.

“We’re getting older and it impacts a couple things,” said Brent Pearson, resource development planner at Region Nine Development Commission. “The challenges of an aging and retiring workforce means a workforce shortage and it also means higher healthcare costs.”

Pearson said the region will reach what he describes as a “critical mass” of retired people between 2025 and 2045, despite the fact that Blue Earth County has one of the highest populations of young people in the state. He said there will be a need for people to fill jobs in healthcare.