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Future Demographics: SLO To Grow A Few Shades Grayer

March 15,2015-

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SLO residents attend outdoor rock concert
photo from EdHat

My friend Craig told me when he picked his retirement home in SLO he wanted to make sure it was in  “walker distance” to the senior center. HAHA! He got his wish even though he is still ambulatory.So have thousands of other baby boomers (born 1946-1964) who have been landing in San Luis Obispo County.

Look for this graying of SLO County to get a few shades grayer in the future. A new California Department of Finance report says almost all the growth in SLO County will be in the age groups 65 and higher in the next five decades. The result will be nearly one-third of the residents will be elderly and I can assure you they will want their ‘senior discount.’

While California’s senior population is about 12% of the total – in SLO County today it is about 17 percent. But over the next fifty years SLO seniors will make up a bigger chunk of the total.

In 2010 SLO County had 270,000 residents of which 46,000 were 65 or older (17%). A December 2014 state report says slow growing SLO County will increase by a total of 49,000 people by 2060 over those 5 decades from the 2010 census.

While most age groups below 65 will grow very little, college age kids cohort for example, will actually decline, the seniors 65 and older will grow by a total of 44,000 over that same period.

That would mean SLO County will have a population of 319,00 in 2060 of which 90,00 would be seniors over 65 or about 29% compared to 17% today.

Looked at a different way – with the total growth of the county at 49,000 more people by 2060 – 44,000 of them will be over 65. More than 90 percent of the growth will be gray!

Bring on the Rolling Stones concerts and don’t forget that discount.

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