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A Profile of Older Americans: 2011

Geographic Distribution

The proportion of older persons in the population varies considerably by state with some states experiencing much greater growth in their older populations (Figures 4 and 5). In 2010, over half (56.5%) of persons 65+ lived in 11 states: California (4.3 million); Florida (3.3 million); New York (2.6 million); Texas (2.6 million); Pennsylvania (2.0 million) and Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Georgia each had well over 1 million (Figure 6).

Persons 65+ constituted approximately 14% or more of the total population in 17 states in 2010 (Figure 6): Florida (17.4%); West Virginia (16.1%); Maine (15.9%); Pennsylvania (15.5%); Iowa (14.9%); Montana (14.9%); Vermont (14.6%); Hawaii (14.5%); North Dakota (14.5%); Rhode Island (14.4%). Arkansas (14.4%); Delaware (14.4%); South Dakota (14.3%); Connecticut (14.2%); Ohio (14.1%); Missouri (14.0%); and Oregon (14.0%). In 13 states, the 65+ population increased by 25% or more between 2000 and 2010 (Figure 6): Alaska (50.0 %); Nevada (47.0 %); Idaho (32.5 %); Arizona (32.1%); Colorado (31.8 %); Georgia (31.4 %); Utah (31.0 %); South Carolina (30.4 %); New Mexico (28.5 %); North Carolina (27.7%); Delaware (26.9 %); Texas (26.1 %); and Washington (25.3%). The twelve jurisdictions with poverty rates over 10% for elderly during 2010 were: District of Columbia (13.1%); North Dakota (12.1%); New Mexico (12.0%); Mississippi (11.9%); Louisiana (11.5%); Kentucky (11.2%); South Dakota (11.1%); New York (10.9%); Alabama (10.7%); Georgia (10.7%); Texas (10.7%); and Arkansas (10.2%).

Most persons 65+ lived in metropolitan areas in 2010 (78.9%). About 64% of these older persons lived outside the principal cities and 36% lived in principal cities. Also, 20% of older persons lived in outside of metropolitan areas.

The elderly are less likely to change residence than other age groups. From 2009 to 2010, only 5.8% of older persons moved as opposed to 16.9% of the under 65 population. Most older movers (58.7%) stayed in the same county and 78.2% remained in the same state. Only 21.8% of the movers moved from out-of-state or abroad.

(Data for this section and for Figures 4-6 were compiled primarily from the 2010 Decennial Census as well as other Internet releases of the U.S. Census Bureau including tables from the March 2010 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement and the 2010 American Community Survey)

Figure 4 is a state map of the US showing the percent of persons over 65 in the population of each state.  This data may be found in the table Figure 6.

Figure 5 is a US state map showing the percent increase from 1999 to 2009 in the older population of each state.  The data may be found in the table in Figure 6.

Figure 6: The 65+ Population by State 2009

Numbers

Number of Persons 65 and Older

Percent of All Ages

Percent Increase from 1999 to 2009

Percent Below Poverty 2009

US Total (50 States + DC)

40,437,581

13.1%

15.3%

9.0%

Alabama

659,822

13.8%

13.7%

10.7%

Alaska

55,233

7.7%

50.0%

5.7%

Arizona

886,604

13.8%

32.1%%

7.7%

Arkansas

421,476

14.4%

12.5%

10.2%

California

4,269,690

11.4%

18.3%

9.7%

Colorado

553,147

11.0%

31.8%

8.1%

Connecticut

507,837

14.2%

7.9%

6.6%

Delaware

129,586

14.4%

26.9%

7.7%

District of Columbia

69,061

11.4%

-0.9%

13.1%

Florida

3,273,940

17.4%

16.4%

9.9%

Georgia

1,037,287

10.7%

31.4%

10.7%

Hawaii

198,094

14.5%

22.5%

6.8%

Idaho

195,438

12.4%

32.5%

7.9%

Illinois

1,614,730

12.6%

7.5%

8.4%

Indiana

834,780

13.0%

11.7%

6.8%

Iowa

454,205

14.9%

4.0%

6.7%

Kansas

377,391

13.2%

5.8%

7.7%

Kentucky

580,394

13.4%

15.0%

11.2%

Louisiana

560,160

12.3%

8.5%

11.5%

Maine

211,336

15.9%

14.9%

9.5%

Maryland

710,761

12.3%

18.2%

7.7%

Massachusetts

905,896

13.8%

5.2%

8.7%

Michigan

1,364,431

13.8%

11.6%

8.0%

Minnesota

685,349

12.9%

14.8%

8.3%

Mississippi

381,372

12.8%

11.2%

11.9%

Missouri

841,075

14.0%

11.3%

9.1%

Montana

147,181

14.9%

21.4%

7.0%

Nebraska

247,518

13.5%

6.5%

7.5%

Nevada

325,935

12.1%

47.0%

7.6%

New Hampshire

178,625

13.6%

20.3%

6.1%

New Jersey

1,190,312

13.5%

6.9%

7.2%

New Mexico

273,572

13.2%

28.5%

12.0%

New York

2,627,101

13.5%

7.1%

10.9%

North Carolina

1,240,390

13.0%

27.7%

9.9%

North Dakota

97,863

14.5%

3.7%

12.1%

Ohio

1,626,201

14.1%

7.8%

7.7%

Oklahoma

509,065

13.5%

11.8%

9.3%

Oregon

535,754

14.0%

21.9%

7.9%

Pennsylvania

1,965,118

15.5%

2.5%

7.9%

Rhode Island

151,918

14.4%

-0.3%

8.2%

South Carolina

634,522

13.7%

30.4%

9.8%

South Dakota

117,070

14.3%

8.3%

11.1%

Tennessee

856,664

13.5%

21.6%

9.7%

Texas

2,619,733

10.4%

26.1%

10.7%

Utah

251,016

9.0%

31.0%

6.0%

Vermont

91,238

14.6%

17.1%

6.8%

Virginia

982,313

12.2%

23.7%

7.4%

Washington

832,650

12.3%

25.3%

6.9%

West Virginia

298,119

16.1%

7.8%

9.9%

Wisconsin

779,383

13.7%

10.6%

7.1%

Wyoming

70,225

12.4%

20.8%

6.8%

Puerto Rico

579,135

14.6%

35.3%

39.6%

(Source: Population data is from U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Population Estimates. Puerto Rico population data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s international Data Base. State level poverty data is from the Census 2010 American Community Survey. National level poverty data is from the 2010 Current Population Survey/American Social and Economic Survey.)

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