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Facts and figures about adults 65 and over

As an active-aging professional, you strive to create environments, programs and services that support older adults in leading full, active and healthy lives. To ensure offerings resonate with your customers and meet their needs, it is vital for you to know the market. Newly compiled statistics from the United States Census Bureau offer a current and concise profile of older Americans. Carry on reading to bring yourself up to date—and see how well you know the market.

Population

43.1 million: The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States.

Source: 2010 US Census

92.0 million: Projected population of people 65 and older in 2060. People in this age group would comprise 20% of the total population at that time.

Source: 2010 US Census

546 million: Projected 2011 midyear world population 65 and older. Projections indicate the number will increase to 1.56 billion by 2050. The percentage of the world’s population 65 and older would increase from about 8% to about 17% over the period.

Source: International Data Base

35: The projected number of people 65 and older of traditional working ages (ages 20–64) to every 100 people in 2030, up from 22 in 2010. This time period coincides with the time when all Baby Boomers will have moved into the 65-and-older age category. (The figures for 2010 are not census counts.)

Source: The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050

42%: The percentage of the 65-and-older population expected to be a minority —i.e., a group other than single race, non-Hispanic white—in 2050, more than double the percentage in 2010 (20%). Likewise, among those 85 and older, 33% are projected to be a minority in 2050, up from 15% in 2010.

Source: The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050

Income and wealth

$33,118: The 2011 median income of households with householders 65 and older, not significantly different from the previous year.

Source: Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011

8.7%: The percent of people 65 and older who were in poverty in 2011, statistically unchanged from 2010. There were 3.6 million seniors in poverty in 2011.

Source: Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011

Serving the nation

9.2 million: Estimated number of people 65 and older who were veterans of the armed forces in 2011.

Source: 2011 American Community Survey

Jobs

16.1%: The percentage of people 65 and older who were in the labor force in 2010, up from 12.1% in 1990. These older workers numbered 6.5 million in 2010, up from 3.8 million in 1990. By 2011, this rate had increased to 16.2%.

Source: Labor Force Participation and Work Status of People 65 and Older

44.3%: The percentage who worked full-time among people 65 and older who were employed in 2011.

Source: Labor Force Participation and Work Status of People 65 and Older

42%: The percentage working in management, professional and related occupations among civilian employed people 65 and older.

Source: US Census 2010

16.1%: Percentage of people 65 and older in the labor force in 2010.

Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Education

77.9%: Proportion of people 65 and older in 2010 who had completed high school or higher education.

Source: US Census 2010

21.3%: Percentage of the population 65 and older in 2010 who had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Source: US Census 2010

Marital status and living arrangements

58%: Percentage of people 65 and older who were married in 2012.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements

27%: Percentage of people 65 and older in 2012 who were widowed.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements

Voting

70%: Percentage of citizens 65 and older reporting casting a ballot in the 2008 presidential election. Along with those 45–64 (69%), people 65 and older had the highest turnout rate of any age group.

Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008 (Table 2)

Homeownership

80.7%: Percentage of householders 65 and older who owned their homes as of fourth quarter 2012.

Source: Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey

Population distribution

90.5: The number of males per 100 females in the 65-and-older population in 2010, an increase from 2000 and 1990 when the sex ratios were 88.1 and 82.7, respectively. For those 85 and older, had 58.3 males per 100 females in 2010, 50.5 males per 100 females in 2000, and 45.6 males per 100 females in 1990.

Source: The Older Population: 2010

85–94: The fastest-growing age group among the older population in 2010, increasing from 3.9 million to 5.1 million.

Source: The Older Population: 2010

74.1: Median age of the population 65 and older in 2010, decreasing from 74.5 in 2000. Growth in the 65–69 age group has contributed to lowering the median age. The 65–69 age group grew by 30.4% and increased from 9.5 million to 12.4 million.

Source: The Older Population: 2010

601,000: Projected number of centenarians in the United States in 2050.

Source: US Census Bureau

States and counties

17.6: Percentage of people 65 and older living in Florida in 2011, the highest of any state.

Source: Population estimates

20: The number of counties that experienced at least a doubling, from 2000 to 2010, of their population 65 years and over when the 65-and-over population contained at least 100 people in 2010, four were in Colorado, five in Georgia, five in Texas, three in Alaska, two in Virginia and one in Florida. The county with the highest share of the population 65 and older was Sumter County, Florida (43.4%), followed by Charlotte County, Florida (34.1%), McIntosh County, North Dakota (34.0%), La Paz County, Arizona (32.6%), and Highlands County, Florida (32.2%).

Source: The Older Population: 2010

Source: US Census Bureau. (2012, March 1). Older Americans Month: May 2012 and 2013. Profile America. Facts for Features.

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