Healthy Aging Month

Last Editorial Review: 8/22/2003

Facts About Americas Seniors:

  • There are 35 million people 65 and over in the United States. That's about 12 percent of the total population!

  • The median household income for householders 65 and over in 2000 was $23,047. This is down 2.3 percent from the 1999 census after adjustment for inflation.

  • 10.2 percent of the people 65 and over live in poverty.

  • 14 percent of the people 65 and over are part of the civilian labor force in 2000! 

    Among employed people 65 and over, women were less likely than men to work in executive, administrative and managerial occupations in 2000. Women, on the other hand, worked more frequently in administrative support jobs than did men.

  • 49,000 people 65 and over enrolled in college in October 2000.

  • Among the population 75 years and over in 2000, 67 percent of men and only 29 percent of women were living with their spouses. (The remaining 33 percent of men and 71 percent of women were either living alone, with relatives, or a nursing home.)

  • Among the population 65 to 74 years old, 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women lived with their spouses. (The remaining 23 percent of men and 47 percent of women were either living alone, with relatives, or a nursing home.)

  • 72 percent of citizens ages 65 to 74 voted in the 2000 presidential election, the highest rate of any age group!

  • 81 percent of householders age 65-74 owned the home in which they lived. This is the highest home-ownership rate of any age group.

  • 27 percent of U.S. residents 65 and over in 2000 were foreign-born themselves or had at least one foreign-born parent.

  • The U.S. ranks 2nd among all countries in number of people 80 and over (in 2000). China ranked first. The U.S. contains 5 percent of the world's total population, and 13 percent of all people 80 and over.

  • There are 70 men for every 100 women in the 65 and over age group. The male-female ration drops steadily by age group.

  • In the year 2000 there were 50,454 centenarians in the U.S., that's 1 in every 5,578!

  • The most popular form of recreation among people 65 and over, by far, is exercise walking! Swimming and exercising with equipment are popular as well.

"Our families are our greatest hope for the future. Families span generations. They offer us comfort, security and sustenance. And older members of our families, grandparents, parents, relatives and even neighbors provide us with the historical perspective that enables us to move forward and contribute to our nations greatness and prosperity as so many have done before. It is this multi-generational perspective upon which we must continue to build. We must work to ensure health and human services reach across generations, where we have young people working as volunteers to assist our elders, and at the same time, we have older adults working with youth. Stronger multi-generational programs result in stronger individuals, who are more connected to their communities. Stronger individuals result in stronger communities, and stronger communities create a stronger nation overall." Josefina G. Carbonell Assistant Secretary for Aging

For more information, please visit the Healthy Living Center and the Senior Health Center.

Portions of the above information is provided with the kind permission of the United States Census Bureau.

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