March 01, 2013

Highlights from A Profile of Older Americans: 2012

  • The population 65 and over has increased from 35 million in 2000 to 41.4 million in 2011 (an 18% increase) and is projected to increase to 79.7 million in 2040.
  • The 85+ population is projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2011 to 14.1 million in 2040.
  • Over one in every eight, or 13.3%, of the population is an older American.
  • Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.2 years (20.4 years for females and 17.8 years for males).
  • In 2011, 21.0% of persons 65+ were members of racial or ethnic minority populations—9% were African-Americans (not Hispanic), 4% were Asian or Pacific Islander (not Hispanic), less than 1% were American Indian or Native Alaskan (not Hispanic), and 0.6% of persons 65+ identified themselves as being of two or more races. Persons of Hispanic origin (who may be of any race) represented 7% of the older population.
  • In 2011, about 497,000 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.
    Racial and ethnic minority populations have increased from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.3% of the elderly population) to 8.5 million in 2011 (21% of the elderly) and are projected to increase to 20.2 million in 2030 (28% of the elderly).
  • The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2010 were Social Security (reported by 86% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 52%), private pensions (reported by 27%), government employee pensions (reported by 15%), and earnings (reported by 26%).
  • Social Security constituted 90% or more of the income received by 36% of beneficiaries in 2010 (23% of married couples and 46% of non-married beneficiaries).

Learn more and read the full report at the Administration on Aging’s website: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Aging_Statistics/Profile/index.aspx.