Senior Housing Connection

The Age Wave

Monday, June 20, 2011

The largest generation in Amercian history, the Baby Boomers, is aging. The leading edge of the boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) is turning 60 this year. And better health care means more older adults are living longer than ever before. These two demographic facts are combining to create an unprecendented Age Wave in America.


The number of persons age 65 or older stands at 38.7 million in 2007. Projected to increase to 40 million by 2010, 55 million by 2020, 70 million by 2030 and 88.5 million by 2050.

The number of people age 85 or older stands at 5.4 million in 2007 (compared to 3 million in 1990). Projected to increase to almost 7 million by 2020 and 19 million by 2050.

Life expectancy at birth is 77 years. Life expectancy at age 65 is 19 more years for women and 16 more years for men.

The fastest growing population segment is age 75 and older.

Median income for households headed by a person 65 or older is $22, 812. Poverty rate is 9.7% (lowest ever).

19% of men 65 or older work.

4.3% of those 65 or older live in institutional settings. Increases to 19% for those 85 and older.

Source: Lifespan, November 2008, Statistical Source:Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans, 2007. Facts for Features from the U.S. Census 2000