Graying population will shape state in not-so-distant future

Montana State Roundup

Published April 1, 2000  | April 2000 issue

Aging Montanans will dominate areas of the state, according to a report issued by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research earlier this year.

In-migration alone will likely account for an increase in baby boomers from 283,000 currently to about 300,000 by 2010. Then add the projected pre-boomers who will be older than 65 and that means about 500,000 Montanans, or more than half the state's population, will be elder citizens in 10 years.

The report suggests that the aging population will impact the levels and types of required services throughout the state, although most people aged 65 and older are in the agricultural communities of eastern Montana, while counties with the least number of older people are urban areas with universities or Indian reservations.