Minority Aging

The older population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse as the overall minority population in the U.S. experiences greater longevity. Racial and ethnic minority populations have increased from 6.9 million in 2006 (19% of the older adult population) to 11.1 million in 2016 (23% of older adults), and are projected to increase to 21.1 million in 2030 (28% of older adults).

This page provides information on minority older adults in the U.S. For additional information, visit the Profile of Older Americans.

Statistical Profiles

African Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2016, there were 49.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.4 million age 85 and over. The population age 65 and older is expected to increase to 94.7 million in 2060. The population age 85 and older (6.4 million) is expected to almost triple to 19 million during the same period. Among the population age 65 and over, there were 126 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increased to 187 women for every 100 men. Along with these general trends for America’s older population, the African American older population is also growing.

The "Population and Projections of 
African Americans Age 65+: 
2016 to 2060" graph shows population estimates at 4.4 million in 2016. Population projections include: 5.2 million in 2020, 7.5 million in 2030, 9.0 million in 2040, 10.1 million in 2050, and 12.1 million in 2060.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, 2016, and Population Projections, 2017

Note: Increments in years are uneven. Lighter bars indicate projections.

The non-Hispanic African American population age 65 and over was 4,392,337 in 2016 and is projected to grow to 12.1 million by 2060. In 2016, African Americans made up 9% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage is projected to be 12.8%.

Centenarians

In 2016, there were 9,476 African Americans age 100 and over (1,783 men and 7,693 women) comprising 12% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2016, slightly over 50% of older African Americans lived in eight states: New York (363,505), Florida (342,232), Georgia (304,554), Texas (301,416), California (279,019), North Carolina (258,259), Illinois (215,298), and Maryland (208,406).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including African Americans. In 2017, 75% of the African American population age 65 and older had finished high school, and 18% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, only 44% of older African Americans were high school graduates and 7% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. There are still educational differences among racial and ethnic groups. In 2017, 86% of all older persons were high school graduates and 30% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Marital Status

In 2017, 37% of older African Americans (non-Hispanic) were married, 27% were widowed, 19% were divorced, 5% were separated (including married, spouse absent), and 13% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2015, 50% of older African American men lived with their spouses, 14% lived with other relatives, 6% lived with non-relatives, and 30% lived alone. For older African American women, 24% lived with their spouses, 30% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 43% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

In 2016, households containing families headed by African Americans age 65 and over reported a median income of $43,554. The comparable figure for all older households was $58,559. The median personal income for older African American men was $22,177 and $15,696 for older African American women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $31,618 for men and $18,380 for women. The poverty rate in 2016 for African Americans age 65 and older was 18.7%, double the rate of 9.3% for all older Americans.

Self-Rated Health Status

During 2012-2014, 67% of older African American men and 64% of older African American women reported good to excellent health status. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 80% for men and 81% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among African American men ages 65-74, 67% reported good to excellent health compared with 56% among those age 85 and older. Among African American women, this rate declined from 68% at ages 65-74 to 55% at age 85 and older.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most common conditions among older non-Hispanic African Americans in 2013-2014 were: hypertension (71%), arthritis (51%), heart disease (26%), diabetes (32%), and cancer (17%). The comparable figures for all older persons were: hypertension (56%), arthritis (49%), heart disease (29%), diabetes (21%), and cancer (23%).

Disability Status

In 2016, 40% of older African Americans had one or more disabilities.

Health Insurance

In 2016, 32% of older African Americans had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 13% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, 47% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 7% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2016, state and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11 million persons age 60 and over. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 13% were African American.

Notes

The sources for the data in this report come from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates; Population Projections; Current Population Survey, 2017 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey. Administration for Community Living, State Program Report data.

This report includes data on the age 65 and over population unless otherwise noted. The phrases “older adults” or “older persons” refer to the population age 65 and over.

Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.

Age-adjusted estimates are used when available.

The data presented in this report refer to the noninstitutionalized population except where noted.

Profile of African Americans Age 65 and Over: 2017 was developed by the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Printable Handout: A Statistical Profile of Older African Americans (PDF)

American Indians and Alaska Natives Age 65+

Introduction

In 2016, there were 49.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.4 million age 85 and over. The population age 65 and over is expected to increase to 94.7 million by 2060. The population age 85 and over (6.4 million) is expected to almost triple to 19 million during the same period. Among the population age 65 and over, there were 126 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increased to 187 women for every 100 men. Along with these general trends for America’s older population, the American Indian and Alaska Native older population is also growing.

The American Indian and Alaska Native Population Age 65 and over: Past, Present, and Future

The "Population and Projections of 
Older American Indians and 
Alaska Natives Age 65 and Over: 
2016 to 2060" graph includes a population estimate of 259,000 for 2016. It inlcudes population projections of 309,000 in 2020, 443,000 in 2030, 503,000 in 2040, 550,000 in 2050, and 649,000 in 2060.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, 2016 and Population Projections, 2017

Note: Increments in years are uneven. Lighter bars indicate projections. The terms American Indians and Alaska Natives refer to American Indians and Alaska Natives who are not Hispanic and do not identify as more than one race.

The non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native population age 65 and over was 258,616 in 2016 and is projected to grow to more than 648,000 by 2060. In 2016, American Indian and Alaska Natives made up 0.5% of the older population and is projected to be 0.7% by 2060. The number of Americans age 65 and over who reported they were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more races was 592,753 in 2016.

Centenarians

In 2016, there were 389 American Indians and Alaska Natives age 100 and over (108 men and 281 women) comprising less than 1% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2016, almost 50% (125,095) of older American Indians and Alaska Natives lived in six states: Oklahoma (31,876), Arizona (25,539), California (23,058), New Mexico (17,983), North Carolina (14,233), and Texas (12,406).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including older American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 2017, 79% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population age 65 and over had finished high school, and 21% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. There are still educational differences among racial and ethnic groups. In 2017, 86% of all older persons were high school graduates and 30% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Marital Status

In 2017, 48% of older American Indians and Alaska Natives (non-Hispanic) were married, 27% were widowed, 15% were divorced, 1% were separated (including married, spouse absent), and 9% had never been married.

Disability Status

In 2016, 50% of older American Indians and Alaska Natives had one or more disabilities.

Poverty

In 2016, twice the percentage of older American Indians and Alaska Natives lived below poverty (18.8%) as compared to all older Americans (9.3%).

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2016, state and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11 million persons age 60 and over. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 1.2% were American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Number of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 65 and over, by state, 2016

State(s)

Total

50 States + DC

258,616

Alabama

3,837

Alaska

9,069

Arizona

25,539

Arkansas

2,772

California

23,058

Colorado

3,513

Connecticut

937

Delaware

599

District of Columbia

207

Florida

8,792

Georgia

3,275

Hawaii

393

Idaho

2,145

Illinois

2,475

Indiana

2,088

Iowa

742

Kansas

2,306

Kentucky

1,328

Louisiana

3,547

Maine

961

Maryland

2,090

Massachusetts

1,591

Michigan

6,561

Minnesota

4,720

Mississippi

1,392

Missouri

3,465

Montana

5,046

Nebraska

1,130

Nevada

3,239

New Hampshire

369

New Jersey

1,959

New Mexico

17,983

New York

7,106

North Carolina

14,233

North Dakota

2,399

Ohio

3,276

Oklahoma

31,876

Oregon

5,365

Pennsylvania

2,592

Rhode Island

525

South Carolina

2,506

South Dakota

4,595

Tennessee

2,833

Texas

12,406

Utah

1,996

Vermont

328

Virginia

3,226

Washington

9,800

West Virginia

689

Wisconsin

4,731

Wyoming

1,006

Notes

The sources for the data in this report come from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates; Population Projections; Current Population Survey, 2017 Annual Social and Economic Supplement; American Community Survey. Administration for Community Living, State Program Report data.

This report includes data on the age 65 and over population unless otherwise noted. The phrases “older adults” or “older persons” refer to the population age 65 and over.

Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.

Age-adjusted estimates are used when available.

The data presented in this report refer to the noninstitutionalized population except where noted.

Profile of American Indians and Alaska Natives Age 65 and Over: 2017 was developed by the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older American Indian and Native Alaskans (PDF)

Asian Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2016, there were 49.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.4 million age 85 and over. The population age 65 and over is expected to increase to 94.7 million by 2060. The population age 85 and over (6.4 million) is expected to almost triple to 19 million during the same period. Among the population age 65 and over, there were 126 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increased to 187 women for every 100 men. Along with these general trends for America’s older population, the Asian American older population is also growing.

The "Population and Projections of 
Asian Americans Age 65+: 
2016 to 2060" graph displays population estimates for 2016 as 2.1 million. Population projections include: 2.5 million for 2020, 3.8 million for 2030, 5.0 million for 2040, 6.4 million for 2050, and 7.9 million for 2060.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, 2016 and Population Projections, 2017

Note: Increments in years are uneven. Lighter bars indicate projections.

The non-Hispanic Asian American population age 65 and over was 2,111,472 in 2016 and is projected to grow to 7.9 million by 2060. In 2016, Asian Americans made up 4% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage is projected to be 8%.

Centenarians

In 2016, there were 4,248 Asian Americans age 100 years and over (1,273 men and 2,975 women) comprising 5% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2016, 60% (1,258,906) of older Asian Americans lived in four States: California (811,264), New York (196,243), Hawaii (130,636), and Texas (120,763).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older adults, including Asian Americans. In 2017, 79% of the Asian American population age 65 and over had finished high school, and 37% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, 65% had finished high school and 22% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The percentage of older Asian Americans in 2017 who had a bachelor’s degree or higher (37%) was higher than for the overall older population (30%).

Marital Status

In 2017, 61% of older Asian Americans (non-Hispanic) were married, 23% were widowed, 6% were divorced, 5% were separated (including married, spouse absent), and 5% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2015, 78% of older Asian American men lived with their spouses, 10% lived with other relatives, 3% lived with non-relatives, and 10% lived alone. For older Asian American women, 52% lived with their spouses, 26% lived with other relatives, 1% lived with non-relatives, and 20% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

In 2016, households containing families headed by Asian Americans age 65 and over reported a median income of $66,116. The comparable figure for all older households was $58,559. The median personal income for older Asian American men was $26,196 and $14,696 for older Asian American women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $31,618 for men and $18,380 for women. The poverty rate in 2016 for Asian Americans age 65 and over was 11.8% while the rate for all older Americans was 9.3%.

Disability Status

In 2016, 31% of older Asian Americans had one or more disabilities.

Health Insurance

In 2016, 31% of older Asian Americans had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 20% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, 47% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 7% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2016, state and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11 million persons age 60 and over. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 4% were Asian Americans.

Notes

The sources for the data in this report come from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates; Population Projections; Current Population Survey, 2017 Annual Social and Economic Supplement; American Community Survey. Administration for Community Living, State Program Report data.

This report includes data on the age 65 and over population unless otherwise noted. The phrases “older adults” or “older persons” refer to the population age 65 and over.

Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.

Age-adjusted estimates are used when available.

The data presented in this report refer to the noninstitutionalized population except where noted.

Profile of Asian Americans Age 65 and Over: 2017 was developed by the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older Asian Americans (PDF)

Hispanic Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2016, there were 49.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.4 million age 85 and over. The population age 65 and over is expected to increase to 94.7  million by 2060. The population age 85 and over (6.4 million) is expected to almost triple to 19 million during the same time period. Among the population age 65 and over, there were 126 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increased to 187 women for every 100 men. Along with these general trends for America’s older population, the Hispanic older population is also growing.

The "Population and Projections of Hispanic Americans Age 65+: 2016 to 2060" graph displays a population estimate of 4.0 million in 2016. It displays population projections of 4.9 million in 2020, 8.3 million in 2030, 12.1 million in 2040, 15.9 million in 2050, and 19.9 million in 2060.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, 2016 and Population Projections, 2017.

Note: Increments in years are uneven. Lighter bars indicate projections.

The Hispanic American population (of any race) age 65 and over was 3,968,763 in 2016 and is projected to grow to 19.9 million by 2060. In 2016, Hispanic Americans made up 8% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage is projected to be 21%.

Centenarians

In 2016, there were 6,563 Hispanic Americans age 100 and over (1,716 men and 4,847 women) comprising 8% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2016, 60% (2,397,989) of older Hispanic Americans lived in three states: California (1,048,705), Texas (753,642), and Florida (595,642).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including Hispanics. In 2017, 58% of the Hispanic American population age 65 and over had finished high school and 14% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, only 29% of Hispanic American elderly were high school graduates and 5% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. There are still educational differences among racial and ethnic groups. In 2017, 86% of all older persons were high school graduates and 30% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Marital Status

In 2017, 52% of older Hispanic Americans were married, 22% were widowed, 13% were divorced, 6% were separated (including married, spouse absent), and 8% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2015, 67% of older Hispanic American men lived with their spouses, 13% lived with other relatives, 5% lived with non-relatives, and 15% lived alone. For older Hispanic women, 40% lived with their spouses, 34% lived with other relatives, 3% lived with non-relatives, and 23% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

In 2016, households containing families headed by Hispanic Americans age 65 and over reported a median income of $44,986. The comparable figure for all older households was $58,559. The median personal income for older Hispanic American men was $19,508 and $12,489 for older Hispanic American women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $31,618 for men and $18,380 for women. The poverty rate in 2016 for Hispanic Americans age 65 and over was 17.4%, which is higher than the rate for all older Americans at 9.3%.

Self-Rated Health Status

During 2012-2014, 69% of older Hispanic men and 65% of older Hispanic American women reported good to excellent health. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 80% for men and 81% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among Hispanic men ages 65-74, 70% reported good to excellent health compared with 58% among those age 85 and over. Among Hispanic American women, this rate declined from 69% at ages 65-74 to 53% at age 85 and over.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most frequently occurring conditions among older Hispanic Americans in 2013-2014 were: hypertension (57%), arthritis (44%), heart disease (23%), diabetes (32%), and cancer (13%). The comparable figures for all older persons were: hypertension (56%), arthritis (49%), heart disease (29%), diabetes (21%), and cancer (23%).

Disability Status

In 2016, 39% of older Hispanic Americans had one or more disabilities.

Health Insurance

In 2016, 24% of older Hispanic Americans had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 16% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, 47% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplemental private health insurance, and 7% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2016, state and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11 million persons age 60 and over. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 9% were Hispanic American.

Notes

The sources for the data in this report come from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates; Population Projections; Current Population Survey, 2017 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey. Administration for Community Living, State Program Report data.

This report includes data on the age 65 and over population unless otherwise noted. The phrases “older adults” or “older persons” refer to the population age 65 and over.

Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.

Age-adjusted estimates are used when available.

The data presented in this report refer to the noninstitutionalized population except where noted.

Profile of Hispanic Americans Age 65 and Over: 2017 was developed by the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older Hispanic Americans (PDF)


Last modified on 02/08/2019


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