A 50-year-old resident in West Los Angeles will live more than five years longer than a resident in South Los Angeles, according to a report issued Tuesday by the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging. Angelenos are living longer, but health prospects for older adults of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds vary depending on where they live in the county.
As the nation’s largest county by population and one of its most socioeconomically diverse, L.A. County is projected to become increasingly aged in the very near future. By 2020, the county’s age-50-or-older population is expected to increase by 27 percent, and the population age 65 or older by 43 percent, according to the report.
The study also found stark differences in the number of health care workers in various regions of Los Angeles. For every 100,000 people in West Los Angeles, there are more than 1,000 physicians. However, for every 100,000 people in South Los Angeles, there are fewer than 50 physicians.
Other key findings revealed that life expectancy increased in Los Angeles from 75.8 years in 1991 to 81.5 years in 2011, with mortality rates declining 18 percent compared to 13 percent for the nation overall. And the worker-to-retiree ratio in Los Angeles is projected to change dramatically from 5.2 workers per retiree in 2016 to just 2.9 workers for each retiree in 2036, raising questions about the financial security of future generations.