1 in 7 of U.S. Population is an Older American

The 2017 Profile of Older Americans validates what we already know: the population age 65 and older is growing at an alarming rate, living longer and requiring more caregiving as they age. 

About one in every seven people today is an older American. Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and older has increased by 33 percent and is expected to double to 98 million by 2060. People reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.4 years. In fact, the age 85 and over population will more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million 2040 – a 129 percent increase! 

Racial and ethnic minority populations now represent 23 percent of older adults, having increased from 6.9 million in 2006 to 11.1 million in 2016. 

An increase in life expectancy is also leading to an increased need for caregiving. In January-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 (9 percent) and more than six times the percentage for adults ages 65–74 (3 percent). 

For more information, see 2017 Profile of Older Americans.

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