A Profile of Older Americans: 2002
The older population (65+) numbered
35.0 million in 2000 (the most recent
year for which data are available), an increase
of 3.7 million or 12.0% since 1990.
The number of Americans aged
45-64 – the "babyboomers" who will reach 65 over
the next two decades – increased by 34% during this decade.
About one in every eight, or
12.4 percent, of the population is an older American.
Over 2.0 million persons celebrated
their 65th birthday in 2000 (5,574 per day).
reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional
17.89 years (19.2 years for females and 16.30 years for males).
Older women outnumber older men
at 20.6 million older women to 14.4 million older men.
About 30 percent (9.7 million)
noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (7.4 million
women, 2.4 million men).
of older women age 75+ live alone.
400,000 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility
for their grandchildren who lived with them.
By the year 2030, the older population
will more than double to about 70 million.
The 85+ population is projected
to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2030.
Members of minority groups are
projected to represent 25 percent of the older population
in 2030, up from 16 percent in 2000.
The median income of older persons
in 2001 was $19,688 for males and $11,313 for females.
Real median income (after adjusting for inflation) fell by
-2.6% for older people since 2000.
The Social Security Administration
reported that the major sources of income for older people
Social Security (reported
by 90 percent of older persons),
Income from assets (reported
by 59 percent),
Public and private pensions
(reported by 41 percent), and
- Earnings (reported by 22
About 3.4 million older persons lived
below the poverty level in 2001. The poverty rate for persons
65+ continued at a historically low rate of 10.1 percent. Another
2.2 million older adults were classified as "near poor"
(income between poverty level and 125 percent of this level).