Census snapshot of the lives of seniors

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The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging have compiled an analysis of seniors age 65 and older, based on the 2010 Census. The information gives a clear picture of who we are and what we’re doing in areas of location, health and economics.

• Where we are: As of 2010, more seniors were living in Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania (more than 15 percent of the population) than anywhere else. Eleven states have more than 1 million seniors ages 65 and older. When it comes to growth, however, the South and West experienced a higher rate.

• More than 38 percent of us have one or more disabilities. The most common difficulties are walking, climbing stairs and doing errands alone.

• Our computer use is up 31 percent.

• While the percentage of seniors in nursing facilities has declined, the percentage in long-term care facilities has risen.

• Women outnumber men (this we know!) and it started at age 35 when the male/female balance shifted. By age 65, there are 100 women to every 89 men.

• Seniors are the only group to have an increase in voter participation.

• Our workforce levels have risen, up to 22 percent for men and 13 percent for women. (The rate for those ages 25 to 34 fell.) Age 65 and older is the only group not to have a decline in employment rate.

• While the rate of home ownership fell for those under age 65, seniors stayed the same. Our rate of 81 percent puts us above all the other age groups.

To read the whole report, go online to census.gov and put this in the search box: 65+ in the United States: 2010. At 192 pages, this document is packed with information.

Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to columnreply2@gmail.com