2017 Profile of Older Americans

2017 Profile of Older Americans

The Administration on Community Living published Profile of Older Americans: 2017, an annual summary of the latest Census Bureau data on America’s aging population, and a resource for all professionals who are interested in the changing demographics of the 65+ population.

Key findings include:

  • Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and over increased from 37.2 million in 2006 to 49.2 million in 2016 (a 33 percent increase) and is projected to almost double to 98 million in 2060. 
  • The age 85 and over population is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (a 129 percent increase).
  • Racial and ethnic minority populations have increased from 6.9 million in 2006 (19 percent of the older adult population) to 11.1 million in 2016 (23 percent of older adults) and are projected to increase to 21.1 million in 2030 (28 percent of older adults).
  • About one in every seven, or 15.2 percent, of the population is an older American.
  • Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.4 years (20.6 years for females and 18 years for males).
  • Older women outnumber older men at 27.5 million older women to 21.8 million older men.
  • About 28 percent (13.8 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (9.3 million women, 4.5 million men).
  • Almost half of older women (45 percent) age 75 and over live alone.
  • The need for caregiving increases with age. In January to June 2017, the percentage of older adults age 85 and over needing help with personal care (22 percent) was more than twice the percentage for adults ages 75–84 (nine percent) and more than six times the percentage for adults ages 65–74 (three percent).