Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Announcing the 2017 Profile of Older Americans

April 30, 2018

A Profile of Older Americans: 2017, an annual summary of the latest statistics on the older population compiled primarily from U.S. Census data, is now available as a web-based publication in a user friendly format along with data tables and charts in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

The Profile has proven to be a very useful statistical summary and serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in the changing demographics of the population age 65 and over, including 15 topical areas (such as population, income and poverty, living arrangements, education, health, and caregiving). 

Here are some highlights from the 2017 Profile of Older Americans:

  • Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and over increased from 37.2 million in 2006 to 49.2 million in 2016 (a 33% increase) and is projected to almost double to 98 million in 2060. 
  • The age 85 and over population is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (a 129% increase).
  • 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).
  • About one in every seven, or 15.2%, of the population is an older American.
  • Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.4 years (20.6 years for females and 18 years for males).
  • Older women outnumber older men at 27.5 million older women to 21.8 million older men.
  • About 28% (13.8 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons lived alone (9.3 million women, 4.5 million men).
  • Almost half of older women (45%) age 75 and over lived alone.
  • The need for caregiving increases with age. In January-June 2017, the percentage of older adults age 85 and over needing help with personal care (22%) was more than twice the percentage for adults ages 75–84 (9%) and more than six times the percentage for adults ages 65–74 (3%).

Please share the 2017 Profile with other interested parties. Previous years’ publication and data are also available on the website



  1. Principal sources of data for the Profile are the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Profile incorporates the latest data available but not all items are updated on an annual basis.
  2. This report includes data on the 65 and over population unless otherwise noted. The phrases “older adults” or “older persons” refer to the population age 65 and over.
  3. Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.


Sharon Sultan Cutler - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 11:35

As we write the upcoming motivational guide Your NEW YOU After 65: Valuable Advice to Inspire Your Awesome, Active Aging, your research is so valuable to cite. Thank you, and and I would love to be in touch shortly.

Christine - ACL Communications - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:33

In reply to by Anonymous

Glad to hear it -- thanks for the feedback!

Victoria Jackson , Ed.D, LCSW, Geriatician at Loma Linda University Schoolo Behavioral Health - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 16:59

I am excited about the creative developments for housing for older adults - Dementia City in Holland, (not crazy about the name, but of the supportive, creative idea, and services and resources developed are great) A home for elders whose décor replicates the 1950s when they were of age has been found to provide comfort for older residents within dementia settings, Some nursing homes have college students partnering as friends/companions with residents in exchange for free housing right above the older adults residents, teens are teaching elders how to use computers at libraries (some are paid to do so ) I like the intergenerational setup. VJ
I approve the trend of infusing more older adults in the groups of other generatins, so we can all interact and assist each other in learning, growing, and aging! Victoria

Last modified on 05/10/2020

Back to Top