A Statistical Profile of Asian Older Americans Aged 65+
In 2014, there were 46.2 million Americans aged 65 and over and 6.2 million aged 85 and over. The number of people aged 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million and the number of people aged 85 and older is expected to triple to 19.7 million. Among the population age 65 and over, there are 127 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over this ratio increases to 192 women for every 100 men. Along with general trends for America’s population, the Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Island population is living longer.
The Older Asian Population: Past, Present, and Future
The non-Hispanic Asian older population was 1.9 million in 2014 and is projected to grow to 8.5 million by 2060. In 2014, older Asians made up 4% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage of the older population that is Asian is projected to be 9%.
In 2014, there were 3,039 Asians age 100 years and over (906 men and 2,133 women). They comprised 4% of all centenarians.
In 2013, over 60% (1,050,520) of older Asians lived in just four States: California (677,524), New York (160,938), Hawaii (122,440), and Texas (89,618).
The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including Asians. In 2014, 76% of the Asian population aged 65 and older had finished high school and 36% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, 65% of Asian elderly had finished high school and 22% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Interestingly, the percentage of older Asians in 2014 who had a bachelor’s degree or higher (36%) was higher than for the overall older population (26%).
In 2014, 63% of older Asians were married, 22% were widowed, 6% were divorced, 4% were separated, and 5% had never been married.
In 2013, 81% of older Asian men lived with their spouses, 8% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 9% lived alone. For older Asian women, 47% lived with their spouses, 33% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 18% lived alone.
Income and Poverty
Households containing families headed by Asians aged 65 and over reported a median income in 2013 of $55,335. The comparable figure for all older households was $54,184. The median personal income for older Asian men was $24,093 and $14,602 for older Asian women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $29,854 for men and $17,366 for women. The poverty rate in 2013 for Asians age 65 and over was 16.7% while the rate for all older Americans was 10.2%. (*Income and poverty estimates are based on redesigned income questions from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.)
Self-Rated Health Status
During 2011-2013, 35% of older Asian men and 31% of older Asian women reported very good/excellent health. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 45% for men and 47% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among Asian men ages 65-74, 41% reported very good/excellent health, compared with 16% among those aged 85 or older. Similarly, among Asian women, this rate declined from 39% at ages 65-74 to 13% at age 85 or older.
Most older persons have at least one chronic condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most frequently occurring conditions among older Asians in 2011-2013 were: diagnosed arthritis (36%), all types of heart disease (24%), and cancer (12%). The comparable figures for all older persons were: diagnosed arthritis (49%), all types of heart disease (31%), and cancer (25%).
Access to Medical Care
In 2013, 31% of older Asians had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance and 18% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, almost 50% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance and 6% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In 2011-2013, 4% of older Asians reported they had no usual source of health care compared with 4% of all older Americans.
Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs
In 2013, State and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11.1 million persons aged 60 and older. Consistent with the targeting requirements of the OAA, State and Area Agencies on Aging placed considerable emphasis on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 3% were Asians.
Principal sources of data for this Profile are the most current information available from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics as of September 30, 2015.
A handout with this information is available for download: A Statistical Profile of Older Asian Americans (PDF, 263KB)
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