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The incidence of and susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes increases with age, but the underlying mechanism(s) within beta cells that contribute to this increased susceptibility have not been fully elucidated. Here we review how aging affects the proliferative and regenerative capacity of beta cells and how this impacts beta cell mass. In addition we review changes that occur in beta cell function with age. Although we focus on the different rodent models that have provided insight into the characteristics of the aging beta cell, the limited knowledge from non-rodent models is also reviewed. Further studies are needed in order to identify potential beta cell targets for preventing or slowing the progression of diabetes that occurs with age.