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Facts About Older Adults

older-adultsThe following information provides you with some basic facts and figures related to older adults. If you are interested in learning more, a list of sources is provided at the bottom of the page.

  • 54% of people 65+ have at least one disability (physical or non-physical) and 73.6% of 80+ have at least one disability.

  • The population aged 85 and older is currently the fastest growing segment of the older adult population in the nation.

  • In 2011, the "baby boom" generation will begin to turn 65, and by 2030, it is projected that one in five people will be age 65 or older. The size of the older adult population is projected to double over the next 30 years, growing to 70 million by 2030, twice what it was in 1990.

  • Nearly one-quarter (22.9%) of all people 65 and over in this country are functionally disabled or currently in need of some form of long-term care. The best-case scenario projects that by the year 2040 the population of severely disabled elderly (meaning they will need help with personal activities of daily living) will increase by 90%.

  • By the year 2026, the older population is estimated to be 71.5 million, nearly 20% of the population. (A Profile of Older Americans: 2007, US DHSS, Administration on Aging).

  • The 85+ population is projected to increase from 5.5 million in 2007 to 7.3 million in 2020. (Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008, US Census Bureau)

  • There were 73,674 persons aged 100+ in 2006.  This is a 97% increase from the 1990 figure of 37,306 (A Profile of Older Americans: 2007, US DHSS, Administration on Aging).

  • The number of Americans aged 45-64 (baby boomers) who will be reaching age 65 over the next two decades increasing by 39%.  Every eight seconds in America a baby boomer turns 50. 

  • Americans' life expectancy has increased by nearly three years since 1990. A child born in 2006 can expect to live 78.1 years on average, up from 75.4 years in 1990 and 77.8 in 2005.

  • The first choice of the 65+ population is to remain in their own home with community services.  95.5% of the 65+ age group do not go into skilled nursing facilities. 

  • 2nd & 3rd choices for seniors are living in an apartment with care services, or in a small home providing care services for a limited number of persons.

  • 30% of all non-institutionalized older persons in 2006 lived alone. About half of older non-institutionalized women (48%) age 75+ live alone. (A Profile of Older Americans: 2007, US DHSS, Administration on Aging).

  • 10 million of 65+ persons require some help with activities of daily living to remain at home.