Keeping Count of the Senior Boom with the U.S. Census at #MACoCon

At the 2018 MACo Summer Conference session “Turn the Tide with Demographics: 2020 Census and the Senior Boom attendees learned about how the U.S. Census data gathering efforts help inform and shape the delivery of services by local governments.

From left to right: Nesreen Kashan, Mayor Pugh, Pattie Tingle, and Delegate McKay
From left to right: Nesreen Khashan, Mayor Pugh, Pattie Tingle, and Delegate McKay

While there is a broad range of demographic data collected by the U.S. Census that is available to assist local governments, panelist focused on senior adults. It is estimated that Maryland’s senior population will increase by 40% from 1.2 million to 1.7 million individuals — and counties need to be prepared for that boom.

Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh kicked off the panel pulling from her experience as Chair of the Census Task Force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and leading local organizational efforts in Baltimore City. Pugh discussed the importance of getting an accurate and complete count for the 2020 census and how that information will shape local policy and resources.

Next, Nesreen Khashan, a data dissemination specialists for the U.S. Census Bureau, discussed the technical and operational steps being taken now to prepare for the 2020 census and how advancements in technology will assist the bureau in meeting their goals of to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. Khashan, also shared specific census data regarding the aging populations in Baltimore City and the Eastern Shore that complemented the presentations of Mayor Pugh and Pattie Tingle.

Finally Pattie Tingle the Executive Director for MAC, Inc., one of the five oldest Area Agencies on Aging in the United States which serves senior citizens in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties, spoke to the need of ensuring that seniors are properly accounted in the 2020 census so that counties can prepare for enough programs and resources to meet the demands of the coming senior tsunami. Tingle stressed how funding has been stagnant in the face of a growing senior population that has different needs and desires from earlier generations — namely supporting efforts to allow seniors to age in place.

The session was moderated by Delegate Mike McKay and held on Thursday, August 15, 2018 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.