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Looking ahead: Three things that will require even more revenue

FEWER WORKERS PAYING TAXES

As the baby boom generation retires, the percentage of all North Carolinians in the work force is expected to fall. Currently, people ages 20 to 64 make up 61 percent of the state's population. By 2030, their portion of the population is expected to drop to 57 percent.

MORE STUDENTS TO EDUCATE

The University of North Carolina system expects its enrollment to reach 235,180 by 2012. That would mean a 33 percent increase over the 10-year period of 2002-2012.

RISING MEDICAL COSTS

North Carolina and its counties help pay for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for low-income people. The state's Medicaid costs have risen an average of 10 percent a year for the past nine years and are likely to continue to go up.

SOURCES: N.C. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, STATE DEMOGRAPHICS UNIT, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM

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