Fitch Ratings Warns of Effects of Maine’s Aging Population

A recent report by Fitch Ratings highlights the economic impact of the Census Bureau’s prediction that by 2026, Maine will be a “super aged” state with 24% of the state’s population older than age 65.     This will constrain economic growth in Maine, since the over-65 population is less engaged in the workforce, and as a result tends to pay less income tax and  to spend less and generate lower sales tax revenues.  At the same time, the report notes that their health care and retirement costs increase.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Maine’s “super aged” status could translate into a lower bond rating, resulting in higher borrowing costs for the state.

As Fitch Ratings notes

Immigration could play a pivotal role in slowing the pace of U.S. aging. Immigrants tend to be younger than the native-born population and so provide an immediate boost to the working age population.

Unfortunately, the administration’s decisions (partially blocked currently by court orders) to strip over a million individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of their ability to stay and work legally in the U.S., or the proposed rule change that would dramatically cut immediate family immigration, would result in fewer immigrants in Maine, at a time when there is ample evidence that we need more immigrants to strengthen Maine’s population and our economy.