A Profile of Older Americans: 2007
- The older
population (65+) numbered 37.3 million in 2006, an increase of
3.4 million or 10.0% since 1996.
number of Americans aged 45-64 – who will reach 65 over the
next two decades – increased by 39% during this decade.
- About one in
every eight, or 12.4 percent, of the population is an older American.
reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.7
years (20.0 years for females and 17.1 years for males).
- Older women
outnumber older men at 21.6 million older women to 15.7 million older
- In 2006, 19.0%
of persons 65+ were minorities--8.3% were African-Americans.** Persons of Hispanic origin
(who may be of any race) represented 6.4% of the older population. About 3.1% of the elderly
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
- Older men were
much more likely to be married than older women--72% of men vs. 42% of
women (Figure 2). 43%
older women in 2006 were widows.
- About 30
percent (10.7 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons live alone
(7.8 million women, 2.9 million men).
- Half of older
women (48%) age 75+ live alone.
- About 450,000
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
- The 85+
population is projected to increase from 4.2
million in 2000 to 6.1 million in 2010 (a 40% increase) and then to 7.3
million in 2020 (a 44% increase for that
- Members of
minority groups are projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000
(16.4% of the elderly population) to 8.1 million in 2010 (20.1% of the
elderly) and then to 12.9 million in 2020 (23.6% of the elderly).
- The median
income of older persons in 2006 was $23,500 for males and $13,603 for
money income of all households headed by older people (after adjusting
for inflation) rose by 3.4% from 2005 to 2006.
Family households headed by older people reported a
income in 2006 of $39,649.
- Major sources
of income for older people in 2005 were:
Social Security (reported by 89 percent of older
income from assets (reported by 55 percent), private pensions (reported
by 29 percent), government employee pensions (reported by 14 percent),
and earnings (reported by 24 percent).
- Social Security
constituted 90% or more of the income received by 34% of all Social
Security beneficiaries (22% of married couples and 43% of non-married
- About 3.4
million elderly persons (9.4%) were below the poverty level in 2006
which is a statistically significant decrease from the poverty rate in
- About 11% (3.7
million) of older Medicare enrollees received personal care from a paid
or unpaid source in 1999.
sources of data for the Profile are the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the
Center on Health Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The
incorporates the latest data available but not all items are updated on
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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans
2007 - The Older Population