Commentary: The story by former Associated Press reporter Barry Massey in 2014 should have served as a warning. The fastest-growing population in the state by age are those 65 and older. There was no growth for those age 18 to 64, according to Census figures, and a decline for those 17 and younger. And, the trend is expected to continue in the coming decades.
The state’s birth rate has remained fairly consistent. But the growth in the aging population means more people are dying each year than being born, according to Jeff Baker, a demographer for the University of New Mexico.
By the year 2030, nearly half the state’s population will either be older than 65 or younger than 18, Baker said, creating what he referred to as a double dependency - people who need services (schools for the young, health care for the old) but are typically not in the workforce.