65+ in the United States

65+ in the United States
65+ in the United States
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This report examines a range of topics concerning the senior population in the United States aged 65 and older in five chapters. The topics highlighted in the report update trends documented in previous versions of this report, expanding on the discussion of long-term care and nursing homes and including in this version an assessment of the impact of the December 2007 to June 2009 recession on older Americans. The five chapters broadly cover the following:

• Chapter 1—Growth of the Older Population—discusses the age structure of the older population and its distribution by race and Hispanic origin.
• Chapter 2— Longevity and Health—addresses mortality, health behaviors and risks, chronic conditions and disability, long-term care, and health insurance.
• Chapter 3— Economic Characteristics—covers work and retirement, income and poverty, and the impact of the 2007–2009 recession on the older population.
• Chapter 4—Geographic Distribution—describes the geographic distribution of the older population across regions and states by race and Hispanic origin along with older people’s migration patterns.
• Chapter 5—Social and Other Characteristics—looks at a range of socio-demographic characteristics of the older population, including marital status, education, living arrangements, and veterans status.

DATA SOURCES: Data used in this report draw heavily from the 2010 Census; nationally representative surveys such as the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey, and National Health Interview Survey; the national vital statistics system; and recent population projections for the United States and other countries. This report also incorporates survey data and analytical findings from numerous studies about the older population prepared by the Census Bureau, other federal agencies, and private researchers, including research funded by the National Institute on Aging, Division of Behavioral and Social Research. This report also includes detailed tables and graphical figures to showcase select statistical information about this aging population.  Some of these tables and graphical figures highlight  yearly comparisons to cover historical data along with projections to future years based on estimates for projected populations and annual growth rates.



Related Items:

Health, United States, 2014, With Special Feature on Adults Ages 55 to 64; Health Statistics 2014 in Brief is available here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/017-022-01622-2

Current Population Reports: Series P-70, Household Economic Studies --print subscription can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/803-044-00000-7?ctid=


Table of Contents

Table of Contents:



Chapter 1. Growth of the Older Population 

Numerical and Proportionate Growth 

The Older Population in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries 

Aging of the Oldest Old 

Population Dynamics 

Median Age 

Age Structure

Sex Imbalances 

Dependency Ratios 

Race and Hispanic Origin 

The Distribution of the Older Population by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2010

Aging Trends by Race and Hispanic Origin 

Our Aging World 

Growth of the Older Population by Country

"The Crossing"

Regional Differences 

Chapter 1 References 


Chapter 2. Longevity and Health

Life Expectancy 

Basic Levels and Trends 

Differences by Sex and Race Group 

Comparison of United States With Selected Countries 

Death and Death Rates 

Trends in Death Rates by Age

Age Structure of Deaths 

Death Rates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin 

Leading Causes of Death 

Health Risks Among Older People 


Alcohol Consumption 


Chronic Illnesses and Impairments 


Heart Disease and Stroke 





Cognitive Impairments 

Sensory Impairments 

Suicide and Depression 

Functional Limitations and Disability 

Major Disabilities

Prevalence of Disability by Various Characteristics

Disability Trends

Impact of Falls on Disability

Health Insurance and Expenditures

Providers of Health Insurance

Health Care Utilization

Health Care Expenditures

Long-Term Care

Type of Long-Term Care

Providers of Long-Term Care

The Cost and Funding of Long-Term Care

Growth of Home and Community-Based Care Living

Chapter 2 References


Chapter 3. Economic Characteristics

Work and Retirement

Labor Force Participation 

Age Structure of the Labor Force

Work Status and Type of Employment

Retirement Planning

Income and Poverty 

Sources of Income 

Social Security 

Private Pensions.

Poverty by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin

Poverty by State

Impact of the 2007–2009 Recession on Older Americans

Housing Impact

Financial Market Impact

Unemployment Impact

Household Wealth Impact

Chapter 3 References


Chapter 4. Geographic Distribution

States and Regions

States With the Largest Older Populations

States With the Largest Oldest-Old Populations

Regional Distribution of the Older Population

Growth of the Older and Oldest-Old Populations by Region and State

Distribution by Race and Hispanic Origin

Region and State Distribution by Race and Hispanic Origin 

State Composition by Race and Hispanic Origin


Counties With the Largest Older Populations 

Counties With the Largest Oldest-Old Populations 

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas


Mobility of Older People

Reasons for Moving by Age 

Chapter 4 References


Chapter 5. Social and Other Characteristics

Marital Status 

Marital Status Differentials by Sex

Decline in Widowhood

Rise in Divorce Rates 

Impact of Widowhood and Divorce on Health

Variation in Marital Status by Race and Hispanic Origin

Living Situations

Differences in Living Arrangements by Sex

Trends in Living Alone by Age and Sex

Living Alone by State and Region

Household Size by Race and Hispanic Origin


Long-Term Care Facility Residence by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin

Nursing Home Residency for States and Regions

Educational Attainment

Trends of Educational Attainment by Sex

Educational Attainment by Race and Hispanic Origin

Educational Attainment of the Older Population in the Future

Foreign Born

Nativity and Citizenship

Region of Birth

Year of Entry 

Language Spoken at Home

Non-English Language Spoken at Home

English Proficiency


Veterans by Age and Sex


Voting Rates by Age

Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin

Voting Rates by Region

Voting Rates by Education 

Internet Usage


Type of Internet Use

Chapter 5 References


Appendix A. Sources of Data 

Appendix B. Accuracy of the Estimates

Appendix C.  Detailed Tables


In 2011, the Baby Boom generation, people born from 1946 to 1964, began to turn age 65. As the large Baby Boom cohort ages, the United States will experience rapid growth in both the number of people aged 65 and older and their share of the total population. The social and economic implications of the aging U.S. population will be of significant interest to: policymakers, the private sector, individuals, senior citizens, the aging “baby boomer” generation, marketing organizations, educational organizations, healthcare and business professionals interested in the demographics of this population for services, as well as statisticians and economists.  Also recommended for high school- through university-level libraries, and public libraries, for research needs.


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