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May Is Older Americans Month

A look at seniors “by the numbers”
  • April 30 2012

Since 1963, May has been the month that celebrates Americans 65 and older. With older Americans now representing a larger share of the overall U.S. population than ever before, it’s appropriate to look at some of the facts and figures that define this increasingly important demographic segment.


40.3 million - The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States on April 1, 2010, accounting for 13 percent of the total population. In 2010, this age group was larger than in any other decennial census, up from 31.2 million in 1990 and 35.0 million in 2000.


88.5 million - Projected population of people 65 and older in 2050. People in this age group would comprise 20 percent of the total population at that time.


546 million - Projected 2011 mid-year world population of those 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 percent to about 17 percent over the period.


42 - The percent of the 65 and older population expected to be a minority in 2050, more than double the percentage in 2010 (20 percent).


$31,408 - The real median 2010 income of households with householders 65 and older. Since 2007, real median household income declined for all age groups except 65 and older. The income of this group increased by 5.5 percent between 2007 and 2010. The corresponding real median for all households was $49,445 in 2010.


6.7 million - Number of people 65 and older who were in the labor force in 2010, equal to about 16 percent of the labor force. Projections indicate that by 2018, the number will reach 11.1 million.


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


57 - Percentage of people 65 and older who were married in 2010.


27 - Percentage of people 65 and older in 2010 who were widowed.


81 - Percentage of householders 65 and older who owned their homes as of fourth quarter 2011.


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.


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