A Profile of Older Americans: 2010
- The older population (65+) numbered 39.6 million in 2009, an increase of 4.3 million or 12.5% since 1999.
- The number of Americans aged 45-64 – who will reach 65 over the next two decades – increased by 26% during this decade.
- Over one in every eight, or 12.9%, of the population is an older American.
- Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.6 years (19.9 years for females and 17.2 years for males).
- Older women outnumber older men at 22.7 million older women to 16.8 million older men.
- In 2009, 19.9% of persons 65+ were minorities–8.3% were African Americans.** Persons of Hispanic origin (who may be of any race) represented 7.0% of the older population. About 3.4% were Asian or Pacific Islander,** and less than 1% were American Indian or Native Alaskan.** In addition, 0.6% of persons 65+ identified themselves as being of two or more races.
- Older men were much more likely to be married than older women–72% of men vs. 42% of women (Figure 2). 42% older women in 2009 were widows.
- About 30% (11.3 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (8.3 million women, 3.0 million men).
- Half of older women (49%) age 75+ live alone.
- About 475,000 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.
- The population 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and then to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade).
- The 85+ population is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 5.7 million in 2010 (a 36% increase) and then to 6.6 million in 2020 (a 15% increase for that decade).
- Minority populations are projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.3% of the elderly population) to 8.0 million in 2010 (20.1% of the elderly) and then to 12.9 million in 2020 (23.6% of the elderly).
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