Now Available: 2018 Profile of Older Americans

May 31, 2019

Group of diverse older Americans

The Profile of Older Americans is an annual summary of critical statistics related to the older population in the United States. Relying primarily on data offered by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Profile illustrates the shifting demographics of Americans age 65 and older. It includes key topic areas such as income, living arrangements, education, health, and caregiving. The 2018 Profile also incorporates a new special section on emergency and disaster preparedness.


View/download the 2018 Profile

Also available on this page are the 2018 data tables (Excel) and reports from previous years. We encourage you to share this link with partners, networks, and consumers.


Select Data Highlights:

  • More than 15% of the U.S. population are older adults.
  • Over the past 10 years, the population age 65+ increased 34%, from 37.8 million to 50.9 million, and is projected to reach 94.7 million in 2060.
  • The age 85+ population is projected to increase 123% from 2017 to 2040.
  • From 2007 to 2017, racial and ethnic minority populations increased from 7.2 million (19% of older adults) to 11.8 million (23%), and are projected to reach 27.7 million in 2040 (34%).
  • Currently, persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.5 years.
  • Older women outnumber older men at 28.3 million to 22.6 million, respectively.
  • A larger percentage of older men (70%) are married as compared with older women (46%).
  • Approximately 28% (14.3 million) of older persons live alone.
  • Among adults age 75+, 42% report television is their first source of emergency information as compared with 31% for the total population. The percentage of older adults receiving information from the internet (9%) is much lower than for the total population (31%).

Notes: 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. Not all items are updated on an annual basis. The Profile 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. Numbers in this report may not add up due to rounding.


Last modified on 08/24/2020


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