We've asked you to imagine life in 2028 -- but where to begin? Curious about what the world will look like in nine short years? Read on for our list of all-but-certainties, a few likelihoods, and the occasional kooky prediction about where we'll be in 2028!
What the US will look like:
WE'LL BE OLDER: With the enormous size of the Baby Boomer generation, the percentage of people 65+ will increase dramatically – from 15% of the population in 2016 to an expected 21% of the population by 2030. In 2016, there were just over 49 million Americans aged 65+. By 2030, that number is predicted to grow to over 73 million.
WE’LL BE MORE DIVERSE: The population of people who are “two or more races,” as defined by the Census Bureau, is projected to be the fastest growing racial or ethnic group over the coming decades.
The American Dream in 2028
THE SAFETY NET IS FULL OF HOLES: Social Security & Medicare are running out of money. Without action from Congress, Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund is slated to run out in 2026. Social Security benefits are expected to be reduced by 2035. Meanwhile, see the population boom in older Americans above!
THE STUDENT DEBT CRISIS ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE: The cost of college has been increasing by about 6.5% every year for the past decade, according to the US Department of Education. At that rate, one year of tuition at a public college in-state will cost over $44,000 in 2030 – and the total cost of a 4-year degree at a public college will be more than $205,000.
- With the increasing costs of college, student loan debt will continue to balloon. Today, there are more than 44 million borrowers, who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt. The crisis is so bad that some economists estimate that by 2023, up to 40% of borrowers may default on their student loans.
- With significant debt comes limited financial independence; more young people will live at home and for longer, and will delay things like home ownership, marriage, starting a family, and saving for retirement.
If you can stomach the cost of the degree, you may find yourself struggling after graduation alongside your degree-less peers. With the development of more advanced artificial intelligence and other technological progress, many jobs will be lost to automation. We’ve already begun to experience this, most obviously in food service and customer service – iPads have replaced cashiers at some fast-casual chains, and 24-hour chatbots have taken the place of many customer service representatives. But other jobs are automating as well, and some experts predict that AI will replace 40% of all jobs by 2035. The Brookings’ Institute issued a more conservative prediction: that 25% of all jobs in the US are at a high risk for automation.
We feel pretty confident about some things:
- LA will hold the Summer Olympics once again, for the first time since 1984.
- We’ll see a lot of “self-driving” vehicles on the roads, from 18-wheelers to your next rideshare. Autonomous vehicles have already logged several million miles of road time with few incidents. In 2028, they’ll be far more common – you’ll hail a driverless taxi or catch a self-driving shuttle to the airport on your next trip.
- The new normal will be 50/50 representation in government—men and women, just like the population. Trends say this will take much longer to accomplish. But are you willing to keep running government with only half the available human resources? With the support of people like you, we can make 50/50 a reality by 2028.
We’re very intrigued by other things:
- Your smartphone may be able to detect not just your blood alcohol level, but life-threatening disease through… the air you breathe. The SNIFFPHONE project is currently in the works, and it’s pretty cool.
- Your eyes may, more or less, record what you see! We may be wearing contacts with embedded cameras, among other features. Sound closer to science fiction than reality? Think again. Google and Samsung already have patents for this technology!
- This man claims to be a time-traveler from 2030. We’re not necessarily convinced of his predictions (which include electing a 20-year-old US President), but we definitely enjoyed hearing them!