A Profile of Older Americans: 2008
older population (65+) numbered
37.9 million in 2007, an increase of 3.8 million or 11.2%
- The number of
Americans aged 45-64 – who will reach 65 over the next two decades –
increased by 38% during this decade.
- Over one in every eight, or 12.6
percent, of the population is an older American.
- Persons reaching age 65 have an
average life expectancy of an additional 19.0 years (20.3 years for females
and 17.4 years for males).
- Older women outnumber older men at
21.9 million older women to 16.0 million older men.
- In 2007, 19.3% of persons 65+ were
minorities--8.3% were African-Americans.** Persons of Hispanic origin
(who may be of any race) represented 6.6% of the older population.
About 3.2% 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 more races.
- Older men were much more likely to
be married than older women--73% of men vs. 42% of women (Figure 2).
42% older women in 2007 were widows.
- About 30 percent (10.9 million) of
noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (7.9 million women, 2.9
- Half of older women (49%) age 75+
- 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 that decade).
- The 85+ population is projected to
4.2 million in 2000 to 5.7 million in 2010 (a 36% increase) and then to
6.6 million in 2020(a
15% increase for that
- Minority populations are projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.3% of
the elderly population) to 8.0 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 2007 was $24,323 for males and $14,021 for females. Median money
income (after adjusting for inflation) of all households headed by
older people did not change in a statistically different amount from
2006 to 2007. Households containing families headed by persons 65+
reported a median income in 2007 of $41,851.
- Major sources of income for older
people in 2006 were: Social Security (reported by 89 percent of older
persons), income from assets (reported by 55 percent), private pensions
(reported by 29 percent), government employee pensions (reported by 14
percent), and earnings (reported by 25 percent).
- Social Security constituted 90% or
more of the income received by 32% of all Social Security beneficiaries
(20% of married couples and 41% of non-married beneficiaries).
- About 3.6 million elderly persons
(9.7%) were below the poverty level in 2007 which is a statistically
significant increase from the poverty rate in 2006 (9.4%).
- About 11% (3.7
million) of older Medicare enrollees received personal care from a paid
or unpaid source in 1999.
*Principal sources of data for the Profile are the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the National Center on Health Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Profile incorporates the latest data available but not all items are updated on an annual basis.
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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans
2008 - The Older Population
Last Modified: 12/31/1600