Minnesota Health Workforce Demographics

Aging Trends: Physicians, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Dentists

The workforce is constantly changing as older people retire and younger people enter the workforce. Minnesota’s health care industry faces a double challenge:

  • As the baby boom generation leaves the workforce between now and about 2020, the health care industry will be competing with all other sectors of the economy for a smaller and more diverse new workforce generation.
  • At the same time, the aging of the entire population is expected to increase demand for health care services, putting additional stress on this workforce.

The Minnesota State Demographer estimates that Minnesota’s labor force will increase 14 percent between 2005 and 2025, but the number of Minnesotans age 70 or more will increase 71 percent.

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s workforce surveys generate data describing the changing age, gender and race/ethnicity for nine health care professions. This page summarizes the age structure of four major professions: physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and dentists.

Definitions of Metropolitan, Micropolitan and Rural

MEDIAN AGE

Minnesota

Metropolitan Counties (20)

Micropolitan Counties (21)

Rural Counties (46)

Physicians (2005)

48 yr.

48 yr.

49 yr.

48 yr.

Registered Nurses (2004)

47 yr.

46 yr.

48 yr.

48 yr.

Licensed Practical Nurses (2004)

46 yr.

46 yr.

45 yr.

47 yr.

Dentists (2005)

50 yr.

49 yr.

51 yr.

53 yr.

PERCENT 50 OR OLDER

Minnesota

Metropolitan Counties (20)

Micropolitan Counties (21)

Rural Counties (46)

Physicians (2005)

44.6%

44.1%

47.8%

46.1%

Registered Nurses (2004)

38.9%

37.5%

43.8%

44.8%

Licensed Practical Nurses (2004)

38.1%

38.8%

35.4%

39.3%

Dentists (2005)

51.7%

49.2%

56.3%

68.2%

Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:28:42 CST