Older and More Diverse: Demographic Implications for New York’s Health Care System

June 23, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under For Career Seekers, For Employers, For the Workforce, Health and Wellness

Last modified June 24, 2020

According to a new brief by the NYS Health Foundation, over the next decades, the population nationally and in most states will become older and more racially and ethnically diverse. As the demographics of the average New Yorker change over time, so will the demographics of the average patient. Although New York State is already one of the most diverse states in the country, it is not immune to disparities in health care access and quality by race and ethnicity, as the COVID-19 pandemic has indicated. The health care system will need to prepare for tomorrow’s changing patient population.

This NYSHealth brief examines publicly available projections of county-level population estimates by age and race/ethnicity within New York State. A few of the key findings include:

  • New York State is projected to have lower population growth relative to the rest of the country.
  • Most counties in New York State are projected to have decreases in population size. Those counties where population is expected to increase are largely located in and around New York City; this will increase the concentration of the State’s population in New York City.
  • In 2019, the non-Hispanic white population represented a majority (55%) of the State’s population; however, the State is projected to become majority minority by 2035.
  • The Hispanic population is projected to grow faster than the non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic white populations.
  • In 2019, the proportion of the New York population that was 65 years or older was 16.4%. By 2035, one out of five New Yorkers is expected to be 65 years old or older. While the elderly population increases, there will be a decrease in the size of the child (ages 0–19) and working-age (ages 20–64) populations.
  • All counties in the State are projected to experience an increase the proportion of the population that is elderly.
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