A Profile of Older Americans: 2002
older population--persons 65 years or older--numbered 35.0 million
in 2000 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented
12.4% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans.
The number of older Americans increased
by 3.7 million or 12.0% since 1990, compared to an
increase of 13.3% for the under-65 population. However,
the number of Americans aged 45-64 – the "babyboomers"
who will reach 65 over
the next two decades – increased by 34% during this period.
2000, there were 20.6 million older women and 14.4 million older
men, or a sex ratio of 143 women for every 100 men. The female
to male sex ratio increases with age, ranging from 117 for the
65-69 age group to a high of 245 for persons 85 and over.
1900, the percentage of Americans 65+ has more than tripled (4.1%
in 1900 to 12.4% in 2000), and the number has increased eleven
times (from 3.1 million to 35.0 million).
The older population itself is getting older. In 2000,
the 65-74 age group (18.4 million) was eight times larger than
in 1900, but the 75-84 group (12.4 million) was 16 times larger
and the 85+ group (4.2 million) was 34 times larger.
2000, persons reaching age 65 had an average life expectancy of
an additional 17.9 years (19.2 years for females and 16.3 years
child born in 2000 could expect to live 76.9 years, about 29 years
longer than a child born in 1900. Much
of this increase occurred because of reduced death rates for children
and young adult. However,
the past two decades have also seen reduced death rates for the
population aged 65-84, especially for men – by 19% for men aged
65-74 and by 16% for men aged 75-84. Life
expectancy at age 65 increased by only 2.4 years between 1900
and 1960, but has increased by 3.7 years since 1960.
2.0 million persons celebrated their 65th birthday in 2000 (5,574
per day). In the same year, about 1.8 million persons 65 or older
died, resulting in an annual net increase of approximately 238,000
(650 per day).
were 50,545 persons aged 100 or more in 2000 (0.02% of the total
is a 35% increase from the 1990 figure of 37,306.
(Data for this section were compiled primarily from
Internet releases of the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the National
Center for Health Statistics).
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Last Modified: 12/31/1600