If you think of people age 65 and older as "old folks" you will miss some important marketing opportunities. Although the interests and needs of consumers as they age may change in some ways, statistics clearly show that in many ways "seniors" may have more disposable income than you might think.
The following are statistics about our aging population that might surprise you -- most own their own home, seniors are less likely to live at the poverty level than the general population, more women live longer than men, and despite the low rate of seniors who have a college degree, of the 65+ age group gainfully employed, most hold management positions or work in a professional occupation.
Present U.S. Senior Population Statistics
Number of Seniors On The Rise: 39.6 million people were 65 or older in the United States on July 1, 2009. This age group accounted for 13 percent of the total population. Between 2008 and 2009, this age group increased by 770,699 people. In 2012, 10,000 people turn 60 years old every single day. On July 1, 2009, 5.6 million people in the U.S. were 85 years of age or older and on December 1, 2010, there were an estimated 71,991 centenarians (100 years or older) in the U.S.
Most Seniors Are Not Minorities: In 2010, 10 percent of the 65+ age group were a minority (i.e., a group other than single race, non-Hispanic white) and in the 85+ age group 15 percent were minority. But The year 2050 (see below) this will change dramatically.
California Has The Most Seniors: On July 1, 2009. there were 4.1 Million people age 65 or older living in California on July 1, 2009, the highest total of any state. The second most senior-populated state was Florida with 3.2 million 65+ residents, and New York was third, with 2.6 million in this age group.
Older Service Men and Women: In 2009, 9 million people age 65 and older were veterans of the armed forces.
Fewer Seniors Live At The Poverty Level Than The General Population
Income Average Up For Seniors: The median 2009 income of households with householders 65 and older, was up 5.8 percent ($31,354) from 2008. The corresponding median for all households was $49,777.
Poverty Rate Down For Seniors: The poverty rate for people 65 and older in 2009 was 8.9 percent (3.4 million), down from 9.7 percent (3.7 million) in 2008. The corresponding poverty rate for the U.S. population as a whole was 14.3 percent.
Labor Force: 16 percent of people 65 and older were employed in the labor force in 2009.
Education: In 2009, 77 percent of people 65 and older had completed high school or higher education and 20 percent of the population 65 and older in 2009 who had earned a bachelor's degree or higher.
Marital Status: 56 percent of people 65 and older were married as of 2010 and 28 percent were widowed.
Most Seniors Do Not Live Alone But Do Own Their Own Homes: In 2009, 66 percent of people 65 years of age and older lived in households with relatives. 27 percent of all people this age group lived alone, 5 percent lived in group housing, and 2 percent lived in a household with nonrelatives. Data does not indicate what percent seniors were the head of the household or primary homeowner and allowed relatives to live with them, versus those who lived as an occupant with a relative, however, as of the 4th quarter of 2010, 81% of seniors owned their own home, making it likely most seniors allow others to live with them rather than the reverse.
Seniors Are Powerful Voters: 70 percent of citizens 65+ cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election. Along with those 45 to 64, people 65 and older had the highest turnout rate of any age group.
Women Live Longer Than Men: In 2009, The number of men for every 100 women age 65 and older was 74. For men 85 years of age and older, the ratio of men to women drops to 46 men per 100 women.
Most Employed In Management Or Professional Occupations:: 6.5 million Number of people 65 and older who were in the labor force in 2009. Projections indicate that by 2018, the number will reach 11.1 million. By the year 2030, it is estimated the number of people 65 and older will be 30 to every 100 people of traditional working ages (ages 20 to 64). Also in 2009, 55 percent of people age 65 and older who were employed worked full-time. Of these employed seniors, 42 percent worked in management, professional and related occupations.
2050, The Year Of The Senior
2 In 10 Will Be 65+: In the year 2050, 20% of the total population (88.5 million people) are projected to be age 65 or older. The world population of people 65 years old and older will increase to 1.55 billion, increasing the percent of people in this age group in 2011 from 8 percent to 17 percent in 2050.
More Centenarians: It is projected that there will be 601,000 centenarians (people age 100 or older) in the United States in 2050. As a frame of reference to better appreciate this number, on December 1, 2010, there were an estimated 71,991 centenarians in the U.S.
More Seniors Will Be Minorities: In 2050, 42% percentage of the 65 and older population are expected to be a minority (i.e., a group other than single race, non-Hispanic white) - in 2050, more than double the percentage in 2010 (20 percent). Likewise, among those 85 and older, 33 percent are projected to be a minority in 2050, up from 15 percent in 2010.
Sources From The U.S. Census Bureau
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011 (Table 585)
- The Older Population in the United States: 2009
- Older Americans Month U.S. May 2011 Census Press Release
- The Older Population in the United States: 2009
- 2009 American Community Survey
- Families and Living Arrangements
- Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008
- U.S. Census Population Estimates (2009 National)
- U.S. Census Population Estimates (2009)
- Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey
- U.S. Census Population Projections
- The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050
- Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009