Table 2.1 reveals the pattern of changes in age groups over the last ten years. All age groups through the 30 to 39 year old group lost population except for a small increase (17 persons) in the 22 to 29 age group. The number of school age children is likely to continue to decline over the next decade given the current age structure. At the same time the number of persons approaching retirement age will increase dramatically. The growth in the 75 years and over age group indicates that many elderly people are choosing to stay in the community.
|Table 2.1: 1990 and 2000 Population|
1990 – 2000
|0 to 4 years||217||5.2%||252||6.0%||-13.9%|
|5 to 17||682||16.2%||708||16.7%||-3.7%|
|18 to 21||170||4.0%||193||4.6%||-11.9%|
|22 to 29||352||8.4%||335||7.9%||5.1%|
|30 to 39||439||10.4%||586||13.9%||-25.1%|
|40 to 49||610||14.5%||421||10.0%||44.9%|
|50 to 59||440||10.4%||395||9.3%||11.4%|
|60 to 64||212||5.0%||225||5.3%||-5.8%|
|65 to 75||393||9.3%||546||12.9%||-28.0%|
|75 and over||696||16.5%||570||13.5%||22.1%|
This change in age structure can have important implications for planning. Park and recreation facilities and programs that were historically oriented toward youth may need to address the needs of middle aged and elderly residents. Pittsfield has a large age group of middle-aged persons who are likely to be Empty Nesters, adults with no children at home. This age group Housing needs for elderly residents may change dramatically as they experience mobility limitations. Transportation services may be needed to help older persons get to shopping, medical, and other services. Elderly residents also have different economic, social and political views that shape public policy. A recent survey of 480 households indicates that persons over 60 years of age are significantly more likely to be satisfied with the community as it is and less likely to be concerned about economic development and housing issues.