U.S. Older Population Grew at Fastest Rate in 130 Years

U.S. Older Population Grew at Fastest Rate in 130 Years

The U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics from the last census taken in 2020 that revealed the U.S. population 65+ grew nearly five times faster than the total population between 2010 and 2020, reaching 55.8 million or 16.8 percent of the population of the United States. This represents the fastest rate of growth of any decade since 1880 to 1890.

Other highlights:

  • The 65+ population increased by 50.9 million, from 4.9 million (or 4.7 percent of the total U.S. population) in 1920 to 55.8 million (16.8 percent) in 2020, a 1,000 percent growth rate; 
  • In 2020, about 1 in 6 people in the United States were age 65 and over. In 1920, this proportion was less than 1 in 20.
  • The 65-74 age group was the largest of the older age groups with 33.1 million people, representing over half of the 65+ population, or 1 in 10 Americans.
  • While the share of the U.S. population age 65+ grew, the nation remained relatively young compared to many of its peer nations. Japan had the largest share (28.5 percent) of older residents, while the U.S. ranked 34th (16.8 percent).

Published by

Darryl Hicks

Darryl Hicks is Vice President of Communications for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In this capacity, Hicks writes for NRMLA's publications, manages the association's web sites and social media accounts, assists committees and the Board of Directors, and manages the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. Prior to joining NRMLA in 1999, Hicks spent three years in the Washington, D.C. bureau for National Mortgage News.