It's become a necessary reality. The University of Northern Iowa Gerontology Department needs to expand, and this expansion will benefit Iowa's aging population.
According to the the Iowa State Plan on Aging, 22-percent of Iowa's population will be over the age of 64 by the year 2030. That will rank Iowa 12th in the nation, based on population.
An Iowa Department of Aging report says the state had 539,830 citizens age 65 and older in 2018, representing 17.1 percent of the state's total population.
That put Iowa 17th in the nation. Of that 539,830, 297, 878 were women. That's 55.2 percent of the age group 65 and older.
28.7 percent of Iowans age 65 and older lived along in 2018.
By the year 2050, Iowa is projected to have 687,787 residents age 65 and older, or 20.3 percent of the state's population.
The percentage of Iowa's aging population is increasing because Iowans are living longer, younger Iowans are moving to other areas and the state's population is not increasing much.
Those numbers represent significant challenges for the State of Iowa, and it's one of the reasons the UNI Gerontology Department is expanding to meet those challenges.
Meeting the needs of Iowa's aging population is the topic of this week's Steele Report.