A Growing Aging Population

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  1. 1. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. CENSUS BUREAU census.gov U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING 65+ in the United States: 2010 Special Studies Current Population Reports By Loraine A. West, Samantha Cole, Daniel Goodkind, and Wan He Issued June 2014 P23-212
  2. 2. U.S. Census Bureau 65+ in the United States: 2010 3 Highlights In 2010, there were 40.3 mil- lion people aged 65 and older, 12 times the number in 1900. The percentage of the popula- tion aged 65 and over among the total population increased from 4.1 percent in 1900 to 13.0 percent in 2010 and is projected to reach 20.9 per- cent by 2050. From 2010 onwards, the older dependency ratio is expected to rise sharply as the Baby Boomers enter the older ages. In 2030, when all Baby Boomers will have already passed age 65, the older dependency ratio is expected to be 37, which translates into fewer than three people of working age (20 to 64) to sup- port every older person. The older population has become more racially and ethnically diverse, with those identifying their race as White alone comprising 84.8 percent in 2010, down from 86.9 per- cent in 2000. The United States is not the only country experiencing population aging. In 2010, 50 countries had a higher propor- tion of people aged 65 and over than the United States, and by 2050, this number is projected to reach 98, almost half the countries in the world. In 2010, Alzheimers disease was the fifth leading cause of death among the older popula- tion, up from seventh position in 2000. In contrast to declin- ing mortality from most other causes of death, the death rate for Alzheimers rose more than 50 percent from 1999 to 2007. Over 38 percent of those aged 65 and over had one or more disabilities in 2010, with the most common difficulties being walking, climbing stairs, and doing errands alone. The share of the older popula- tion residing in skilled nursing facilities declined from 4.5 percent in 2000 to 3.1 percent in 2010. The share in other long-term care facilities, such as assisted living, has been growing. Medicaid funds for long-term care have been shifting away from nursing homes with fund- ing for home- and community- based services increasing from 13 percent of total funding in 1990 to 43 percent in 2007. Labor force participation rates rose for both older men and older women in the first decade of the twenty-first cen- tury, reaching 22.1 percent for older men and 13.8 percent for older women. In contrast, the labor force participation rates for the population aged 25 to 34 fell from 2000 to 2010 for both men and women. The older White alone popula- tion was less likely than the older Black alone and Asian alone populations to live in poverty. Older Hispanics were more likely to live in poverty than older non-Hispanic White alone residents. Following the housing price peak in 2006, homeowner- ship rates declined for the population under age 65 but remained flat for older householders. Housing costs were slightly less of a burden in 2009 compared with 2001 for older householders. While the 2010 unemployment rates for people aged 55 and over were lower than for their younger counterparts, the older group still experienced a doubling of unemployment rates compared to just prior to the 20072009 recession. For example, the unemployment rate for the age group 65 to 69 rose from 3.3 percent in 2007 to 7.6 percent in 2010. Also, once unemployed, it took workers aged 55 and older lon- ger to find new employment. Many older workers managed to stay employed during the recession. In fact, the popula- tion aged 65 and over was the only age group not to see a decline in their employment share from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, 16.2 percent of the population aged 65 and over were employed, up from 14.5 percent in 2005. Eleven states had more than 1 million people aged 65 and older in 2010. States with the highest propor- tions of older people in their populations in 2010 included Florida, West Virginia, Maine, and Pennsylvania (all above 15 percent). The West and South regions experienced the fastest growth in their 65-plus and 85-plus populations between 2000 and 2010.
  3. 3. 6 65+ in the United States: 2010 U.S. Census Bureau Figure 1-1. Population Aged 65 and Over: 1900 to 2050 (For information on confidentiality protection, nonsampling error, and definitions, see www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/sf1.pdf) Sources: 1900 to 1940, and 1960 to 1980, U.S. Bureau of the Census,1983; 1950, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1953; 1990, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992; 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2001; 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, 2011; 2020 to 2050, U.S. Census Bureau, 2012a; 1900 to 2010, decennial census; 2020 to 2050, 2012 National Population Projections, Middle series. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2050204020302020201020001990198019701960195019401930192019101900 0 5 10 15 20 25 65+ population (left scale) 65+ as proportion of total population (right scale) Millions Percent Over the last century, the average annual growth rate of the older population has varied from decade to decade (Figure 1-2). The older population grew fastest from the 1920s to the 1950s, when the average annual growth rate was around 3 percent, more than dou- ble the overall population growth. After the 1960s, the growth of the older population slowed down, although it remained higher than the total population growth in all decades except 19902000, dur- ing which the proportion of older people actually fell (Table 1-1 and Figure 1-1). This anomaly was due partly to the decline in fertility during the Great Depression, which occurred in late 1929 through the early 1930s. The cohort born dur- ing this baby bust era reached age 65 in the 1990s.3 The subsequent rise in fertility between 1946 and 1964 resulted in a large generation known as Baby Boomers. They started to reach age 65 in 2011, portend- ing rapid population aging over the next 20 years. Between 2010 and 2020, the older population is projected to grow more rapidly than in any other decade since 1900 (3.2 percent average annual growth), while the total popula- tion will grow about as slowly as in any other past decade since 1900 3 People turning age 65 between 1990 and 2000 were born between 1925 and 1935. (0.8 percent), a difference of 2.4 percentage points. This difference will be among the largest in the past century. Aging of the Oldest Old Population aging has been remark- able in the oldest-old population, those aged 85 and over. For exam- ple, the proportion of people aged 65 to 74 (the youngest 10-year age group of the older population) grew from 2.9 percent of the total population in 1900 to 7.0 percent in 2010, and the proportion aged 75 to 84 grew from 1.0 percent in 1900 to 4.2 percent in 2010 (Table 1-1). In contrast, the proportion of people aged 85 and above reached
  4. 4. U.S. Census Bureau 65+ in the United States: 2010 7 1.8 percent in 2010, 9 times their share in 1900. Additionally, those aged 85 and over as a proportion of the 65-and-over population increased from under 4 percent from 1900 to 1940 to 13.6 percent in 2010. The older population itself has been aging since the 1940s. However, the proportion aged 85 and over of the older population is projected to decline between 2010 and 2020 and remain below the 2010 level in 2030 as Baby Boomers join the ranks of the 65 and older and swell the younger segments of the older population. The population aged 90 and over has become an increasingly large population group. The 90-and-over population has grown more rapidly than those aged 85 to 89 as well as other younger age groups within the older population. Data from 1980 to 2010 show that the num- ber of people aged 90 and older has steadily grown and is projected to more than quadruple from 2010 to 2050, compared with a doubling of the population aged 65 to 89, according to He and Muenchrath (2011). People aged 90 and over are more likely to live in skilled-nursing facilities/nursing homes and to have a disability than those aged 85 to 89 or those of other, younger age groups within the 65-and-over population.4 While the likelihood of living in a nursing home is extremely low at ages 65 to 69 (1.0 percent) and ages 75 to 79 (3.0 percent), it dramatically rises to 11.2 percent at ages 85 to 89, 19.8 percent at ages 90 to 94, 31.0 percent at ages 95 to 99, and 38.2 percent at 100 years of age and over (He and Muenchrath, 2011). 4 For definition of disability in the American Community Survey, see . For definition of skilled nursing facility, see . Figure 1-2. Average Annual Growth Rate of the Total Population and Population Aged 65 and Over by Decade: 19001910 to 20402050 (For information on confidentiality protection, nonsampling error, and definitions, see www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/sf1.pdf) Note: Average annual growth rates for 19001910 through 20002010 are based on reported census populations. Average annual growth rate for 20102020 is based on 2010 census data and projections data; 20202030 through 20402050 are based on projected populations. Sources: 1900 to 1940, and 1960 to 1980, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983; 1950, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1953; 1990, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992; 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2001; 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, 2011; 2020 to 2050, U.S. Census Bureau, 2012a; 1900 to 2010, decennial census; 2020 to 2050, 2012 National Population Projections, Middle series. 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 2040 2050 2030 2040 2020 2030 2010 2020 2000 2010 1990 2000 1980 1990 1970 1980 1960 1970 1950 1960 1940 1950 1930 1940 1920 1930 1910 1920 1900 1910 65 and overTotal population Percent