September 21

51 Fascinating Facts and Statistics About Elderly People

Statistics about elderly people concern the impact of the changing demographic in society. The US Department of Health says people have a longer average life expectancy.

Major Statistics About Elderly People

Americans can live longer lives than ever recorded in US history. Yet, civil society faces several challenges in the coming years. The aging population will have a significant role to play. 

Social isolation, home care, and poor health conditions affect older populations. So, government programs should optimize community living and human services. These services may become important over the next decade as adults age.

Here follows a summary of significant statistics about older generations in America.


  • The United Nations suggests the world’s seniors will make up about 16% of the global population in 2050. The changing demographic will affect all sectors of society. 
  • The world is facing a rapid decline in fertility rates. For example, elderly people will make up a greater share of the population in Europe by 2040.
  • A survey in recent years found that seniors over 55 are flocking to Facebook. Also, the age group is set to become the second largest demographic on the social media network.
  • The online space is changing, but seniors are more likely to share ‘‘fake news.’’ Moreover, they have greater difficulty separating fact from fiction than younger people.
  • The number of people aged over 60 already surpasses the population of children below the age of 5 years. This is in contrast to most of recorded human history.


  • The changing demography means more older people live alone than ever in history. About a quarter of Americans over 65 experience social isolation.
  • The divorce rate for people older than 50 has been climbing since the 1980s. This can be because of factors such as economic conditions and family planning.
  • A national survey found that more than 53% of older people felt lonely after the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Seniors over 55 are visiting online sites in droves looking for a companion. Additionally, seniors outnumber young people on dating sites.
  • Untreated hearing loss may lead to worsening symptoms. So, a large proportion of older patients become diagnosed with cognitive decline.
  • A major study examined the relationships of senior couples. It found that hearing loss puts a lot of strain on relationships.

Work and Tech

  • It is more common to see older adults work after retirement. Most people can’t afford to live on government aid or retirement funds.
  • The latest figures suggest that 60% of elderly women over 55 are actively working. Moreover, this is about the percentage of working-age women in the 1970s.
  • The labor force wants older professionals in the office. Older folks are better at holding onto their jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • More than 60% of older people in the United States over 65 will own a smartphone in 2021. This is over double the number of people in 2015.
  • Studies show mobility issues in the workplace will become common in the coming years. So, businesses may need to adapt as more older persons will work past retirement age.
  • About 18% of people over 65 don’t have access to the Internet. Additionally, 37% of seniors don’t have access to equipment certain jobs need.
  • The MSU found that using a mobile device can help seniors to overcome depression. What’s more, it helps them connect more with friends and family.
  • People generally work in front of a computer these days. As a result, older persons may develop eye problems after age 40, losing the ability to focus.
  • Older women do around 75% of the world’s unpaid care work. Yet, there is a gender gap in mobility aid for older women versus older men.

Wealth Gaps

  • The baby boomer population (born 1945-1964) is the wealthiest generation in history. Also, there will be a wealth transfer of about $30 trillion to younger generations in the coming years.
  • The National Council on Aging says that 80% of citizens need assisted living. Yet, most older folks battle with finances.
  • There are economic disparities among ethnic groups in the USA. About 19% of African Americans and 17% of Latinos lived in poverty in 2017.
  • The US Census Bureau says that over 80% of people over 60 will live in middle and low-income nations by the year 2050.
  • The ACL recently measured the average income for older people. It discovered that people over 65 had a salary range between $21,815 (women) and $36,921(men).
  • Wealthier aging adults may be leading healthier lives. People from rural areas may be more prone to cognitive and physical health issues.
  • Low-income seniors are more prone to developing health issues than wealthier patients. Also, census data says older Americans have a lack of family caregivers.
  • Medicaid currently covers many people who need long-term services and support (LTSS). Over 69% of adults will need LTSS after age 65. Yet, Medicaid services fail to cover modern living expenses.
  • Most people who need LTSS after 65 depend on support from unpaid caregivers or family. Only 48% of seniors have access to paid care in their lifetime.
  • The latest data shows that 15% of seniors in America live in poverty. Also, conversations about the widening wealth gap are brewing on social media.

Health Care

  • The home care market will be worth around $225 billion by 2024. Funds from social security may not be enough to cover your health care costs in the future.
  • The US Census Bureau says 25% of seniors suffer from injuries related to mobility issues.
  • More than 60% of Americans will struggle with mobility after the age of 65. Senior citizens need LTSS for support like bathing, dressing, etc.
  • More than 80% of elderly persons have at least one chronic health condition. Also, chronic diseases are the leading cause of death rates among older persons.
  • Nearly 5 million people in the US already use an assistive device for mobility support. More people from older age groups may need mobility aid over the next decade.
  • The US Census Bureau suggests we need about 446,000 more caregivers in 2025. This comes as the cost of long-term care services for the elderly is rising.
  • The NIH says genetic factors increase your risk for developing elderly disorders. Depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental health problems are becoming more common.
  • Older adults lose muscle strength from age 30, but this trend also accelerates after 60. Yet, exercise and a good diet can help with back pain.
  • Over 65% of senior citizens in the UK say that they were less active than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic. This could cause a loss of mobility and strength.
  • If you are over 60 with high blood pressure or diabetes, you may develop sight problems. Eye-related diseases like cataracts and glaucoma are becoming more common.
  • A study by Johns Hopkins suggests over 30% of seniors over 65 have hearing problems. Also, these older persons generally don’t have access to social care systems.
  • National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) say 50% of people over 85 have hearing loss.
  • Experts say seniors over 65 will live nearly 20 years longer than children born in the 1900s. Children born in 2019 can expect to live about 78 years.
  • A study on mobility says about 27% of the elderly population over 65 are not physically active.
  • Your risk of developing a chronic condition greatly increases with age. Yet, just 30 minutes of physical activity daily will greatly improve your mobility as you age.
  • The Institute for Health (IHME) states that about 60% more people will deal with hearing loss in 2050.
  • Recent studies say over 860 million people will suffer from eye problems by 2050.

Final Thoughts

Population projections will alter life as we know it today. Many scientists and researchers have made projections about overpopulation. Yet, the falling fertility rates will turn the demographic pyramid upside down.

More older folks may need our care and attention in the coming years. It is up to governments and non-profit organizations to fill in the gaps in services for the elderly. 

The current trend in the total population is likely to continue. Businesses and the general population may need to prepare themselves for what’s to come. Nursing home markets may surpass the childcare industry in the coming years.

In short, services need to be divided evenly among the aging population. People from all walks of life must have access to basic services. We can’t discriminate against age, race, or status. Every individual can live a life of greater health and well-being.

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