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A Profile of Older Americans: 2002

Geographic Distribution

In 2000, about half (52%) of persons 65+ lived in nine states. California had over 3.6 million; Florida 2.8 million; New York 2.4 million; Texas 2.1 million; and Pennsylvania 1.9 million. Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey each had well over 1 million (Figure 4).

Person 65+ constituted 14.0% or more of the total population in 9 states in 2000 (Figure 4): Florida (17.6%); Pennsylvania (15.6%); West Virginia (15.3%); Iowa (14.9%); North Dakota (14.7%); Rhode Island (14.5%); Maine (14.4); South Dakota (14.3); and Arkansas (14.0%). In fourteen states, the 65+ population increased by 20% or more between 1990 and 2000 (Figure 5): Nevada (71.5%); Alaska (59.6%); Arizona (39.5%); New Mexico (30.1%); Hawaii (28.5%); Utah (26.9%); Colorado (26.3%); Delaware (26.0%); South Carolina (22.3%); Wyoming (22.2%); Texas (20.7%); North Carolina (20.5%); Idaho (20.3%); and Georgia (20.0%). The eleven jurisdictions with the highest poverty rates for elderly over the period 1998-2000 were Mississippi (17.7%); Louisiana (16.8%); District of Columbia (16.7%); Alabama (15.3%); Tennessee (15.2%); Arkansas (15.2%); New Mexico (14.5%); Kentucky (13.3%); West Virginia (13.2%); New York (13.1%); and Texas (13.0%).

Most persons 65+ lived in metropolitan areas in 2000 (77.5%). About 50% of older persons lived in the suburbs, 27% lived in central cities, and 23% lived in nonmetropolitan areas.

The elderly are less likely to change residence than other age groups. In 1999 only 4.2% of elderly households had moved since 1998 (compared to 16.5% of persons under 65). Among the movers, home ownership declined from 60% to 48%.

(Data for this section and for Figures 4 and 5 were compiled primarily from Internet releases of the U.S. Bureau of the Census).

Figure 4: Persons 65+ as a Percentage of Total Population - 2000

Percent of people 65 or older based on the 2000 Census by state.

Based on Census 2000 Data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census


Figure 5: Percentage Increase in Population 65+ -- 1990 to 2000

The percent increase in the 65 and older population from 1900 to 2000 by state.

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600