The Impact of an Aging Population in the Workplace

Workplace Health Saf. 2018 Oct;66(10):493-498. doi: 10.1177/2165079917752191. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people 65 years of age or older living in the United States is projected to double by 2030 to 72 million adults, representing 20% of the total U.S.

Population: Evidence suggests that older Americans are working longer and spending more time on the job than their peers did in previous years. The increased number of older adults working longer is observed not only in the Unites States but also worldwide. There are numerous ramifications associated with the changing demographics and the expanding prevalence of an aging population in the workforce. Dynamics that arise include stereotyping and discrimination, longevity and on-site expert knowledge, variances in workplace behavior, a multigenerational employee pool, chronic disease management, occupational safety, and the application of adaptive strategies to reduce injury occurrences. Occupational health nurses play a pivotal role in implementing best practices for an aging-friendly workplace.

Keywords: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); ageism; aging population; aging workforce; chronic diseases; cognitive ability; diversity; generations; government regulation; occupational injuries; strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ageism / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Organizational Culture
  • Population Dynamics*
  • United States
  • Workplace / organization & administration*