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May is Older Americans Month

A meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens resulted in President John F. Kennedy designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition.

Here are some statistics about older Americans, as provided by the Census Bureau.

• 41.4 million - The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2011, up from 40.3 million on April 1, 2010 (Census Day). In 2011, this group accounted for 13.3 percent of the total population.

• 92.0 million - Projected population of people 65 and older in 2060. People in this age group would comprise just over one in five U.S. residents at that time. Of this number, 18.2 million would be 85 or older.

• 2.4 million - Projected number of baby boomers in 2060. At that time, the youngest baby boomers would be 96 years old.

• 2056 - The year in which, for the first time, the population 65 and older would outnumber people younger than 18 in the U.S.

• Nearly 17 percent - Projected percentage of the global population that would be 65 and older in 2050, up from 8 percent today. In 2005, Europe became the first major world region where the population 65 and older outnumbered those younger than 15. By 2050, it would be joined by Northern America (which includes Canada and the United States), Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania (which includes Australia and New Zealand).

• $33,118 - The 2011 median income of households with householders 65 and older, not significantly different from the previous year. 

• 8.7 percent - The percent of  people 65 and older who were in poverty in 2011, statistically unchanged from 2010.  There were 3.6 million seniors in poverty in 2011. 

• $170,128 - Median net worth for householders 65 and older in 2010, down from $195,890 in 2005.

• 9.2 million - Estimated number of people 65 and older who were veterans of the armed forces in 2011.

• 16.1 percent - The percentage of people 65 and older who were in the labor force in 2010, up from 12.1 percent in 1990. These older workers numbered 6.5 million in 2010, up from 3.8 million in 1990. By 2011, this rate had increased to 16.2 percent.

• 22.3 percent - The percentage of people 65 and older in Alaska in the labor force in 2011. Labor force participation rates for people 65 years and over ranged from 22.3 percent in Alaska to 12.5 percent in West Virginia.

• 44.3 percent - Among those 65 and older who worked in 2011, the percentage who worked full-time, year-round. Among states and equivalents, the District of Columbia had the highest rate, at 62.2 percent.

• 81.1 percent - Proportion of people 65 and older in 2012 who had completed high school or higher education.

• 24.3 percent  - Percentage of the population 65 and older in 2012 who had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

•  58 percent - Percentage of people 65 and older who were married in 2012.

• 26 percent - Percentage of people 65 and older in 2012 who were widowed.

• 70.3 percent - Percentage of citizens 65 and older reporting casting a ballot in the 2008 presidential election. Not statistically different from those 45 to 64 (69.2 percent), people 65 and older had the highest turnout rate of any age group.

• 80.7 percent - Percentage of householders 65 and older who owned their homes as of fourth quarter 2012.

• 53,364 - The number of people 100 years old and older counted by the 2010 Census.

• 20.7 - For every 100 centenarian women, the number of centenarian men in 2010.

• 43.5 percent - In 2010, percentage of centenarian men who lived with others in a household, the most common living arrangement for this group. For their female counterparts, the most common living arrangement was residing in a nursing home (35.2 percent).

• 3.29 - Number of centenarians per 10,000 people in North Dakota in 2010. North Dakota was the only state with more than three centenarians per 10,000 people.

• 17.6 percent - Percentage of Florida’s population 65 and older in 2011, which led all states.

• 45.5 percent - Percentage of the population of Sumter County, Fla., that was 65 or older in 2011, which led all of the nation’s counties.

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