Demographic Information- Some Tidbits-Part I

(12/22/16)- The population in the U.S. grew to 323.1 million, for the year ended July 1, but that 0.7& increase was the smallest percentage on record since 1936-1937, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. This drop-off was the result of an increase in deaths, a slowdown in births and a slight drop in immigration.

The increase in Utah’s population made it the fastest growing state by percentage, while New York’s population decreaed by 1,900 people to 19.7 million

(12/9/16)- The death rate from heart disease rose 0.9% last year, with the rate also increasing by 3% for stroke, which is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the latest mortality data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heart disease is the number1 cause of deaths in the U.S., with cancer being the 2nd leading cause of death.

Life expectancy declined by one-tenth of a percent, to 78.8 years, according to that same data from the CDC. Death rate from heart disease had been declining for many years, until 2015.

Overall the death rate rose 1.2% in 2015 to 733.3 per 100,000. Death rates rose for 8 of the top 10 leading causes of deaths.

(8/10/16)- Preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which was based on deaths records received by the center as of June 10, revealed that the death rare in the U.S. declined in the first quarter of this.

This decline was more in line with the numbers from past years, with the exception of last year, when it increased, largely due to deaths from drug overdose...Last year was the first year since 1993 that the rate did not decline.

The death rate from heart disease declined from 188.5 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to 177.8 per 100,000 in the same quarter of 2016.

The overall death rate declined to 772.9 per 100,000 people in the first quarter of 2016, from 800.9 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2015.

(7/10/16)- The top 10 causes of death in 2014 were as follows:

Heart disease (23.4% of all death)
Cancer (22.5%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.6%)
Accidents (unintentional injuries; 5.2%)
Cerebrovascular diseases (5.1%)
Alzheimer's disease (3.6%)
Diabetes mellitus (2.9%)
Influenza and pneumonia (2.1%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis (1.8%)
Intentional self-harm (suicide; 1.6%)

(6/3/16)- The death rate in the United States rose last year for the first time in a decade, according to preliminary data from the National Center for health Statistics, part of the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention. The main culprits causing the rise were increases by more people dying from drug overdose, suicide and Alzheimer’s disease.

The death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014. The death rate from suicide rose to 13.1in the third quarter of 2015 12.7 in the same quarter in 2014.

The death rate from Alzheimer’s disease rose 29.2 in 2015, compared to 25.4 in 2014.

(4/21/16)- The latest data from the Census Bureau, based on all deaths in this country in 2014 showed that life expectancy for white  dropped to 78.8 years in 2014 from 78.9 years in 2013. Because of statistical rounding both men and women showed a very slight decline.

Life expectancy for women fell to 81.1 in 2014 from 81.2 in 2013. For men the average life-span in 2014 stayed at 76.5 years, the same as the prior year.

Elizabeth Arias, the statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics helped to analyze the data

Life expectancy for blacks rose to 75.6 years in 2014, while for Hispanics it rose to 81.8 years in 2014, up from 81.6 years in 2013

(3/31/16)- Females born in 2014 can expect to live 4.8 years longer than males born in the same year. This difference in life expectancy between females and males has not changed since 2010, but decreased from 5.4 years in 2000 and 7.0 years in 1990.


The difference in life expectancy between females and males who were aged 65 years in 2014 was 2.5 years, a decrease from 2.6 years in 2010, 2.9 years in 2000, and 3.8 years in 1990.


(11/5/15)- The death rate for all causes dropped from almost 1,279 people per every 100,000 individuals in the US population to nearly 730 per 100,000 between 1969 and 2013, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers found death rates declined by 77% for stroke, 68% for heart disease, 40% for unintended injuries, 18% for cancer and 17% for diabetes, but rates of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease doubled. Reuters (10/27)

(8/19/15)- A report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies concluded that one in five renter households spent more than 30% of their income for their housing if they are in the $45,000 to $75,000 income level in 2013.

A family is considered rent burdened if they spend 30% or more for their housing accommodation..

(7/31/15)- In a revision to its earlier report, the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs  said that China’s population was now 1.38 billion,  thus putting it slightly ahead of India’s population of 1.31 billion.

The revision placed that world’s population at 7.3 billion. The number of people who will be 80 years or older is expected to triple by 2050.  Life expectancy worldwide has risen to 68 years for men and 73 for women in 2010-2015, from 65 for men and 69 for women in 2000-2005

(6/16/15)- There are now 25 million Americans between the ages of 65 through 74, according to the latest statistics from the Census Bureau.

The most commonly accepted definition of the middle class is those who fall into the middle class are in between the 40th and 80th income percentile. The problem they face financially is complicated by the fact that they have to help their children and grandchildren pay off their student debts, college tuition costs, soaring housing bills, while at the same time having to deal with their own rising medical expenses, and dealing with the rising numbers for feeding themselves.

(12/23/14)- The result of a study analysis from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington that was published in the journal Lancelot, concluded that global life expectancy for men and women has increased by about 6 years over the past two decades. Christopher Murray, the lead author of the study is a director of the IHME.

The study known as the Global Burden of Disease Study was conducted by an international team of more than 700 researchers, and it was funded by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation. The study analyzed yearly deaths from 240 different causes in 188 countries from 1990 to 2013.

While deaths from infectious diseases have decreased by 25% over the past two decades, the number of deaths linked to non-communicable diseases has jumped by about 40%. This category involves deaths due to cancer, heart attacks and diabetes.

The study estimated that global life expectancy had increased by 5.8 years for men and 6.6 years for women.  HIV/AIDS has shortened life expectancy by an average of five years since 1990 in southern sub- Saharan countries. It is the biggest cause of premature death in more than a dozen southern sub-Saharan countries.

(10/29/14)- The latest mortality estimates from the nonprofit Society of Actuaries show the average 65-year old U.S. woman is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Men age 65 are expected to live 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

The Internal Revenue Service, which sets minimum funding calculations for corporate pension plans, is expected to consider a new separate set of calculations in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the average 65-year old U.S. male will live to be 82.9 years old, while the average 65-year old woman would live to be 85.5 years old.

(10/14/14)- Life expectancy at birth reached a record high of 78.8 years in 2012, according to data released on Wednesday from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Broken down by sex, life expectancy was 81.2 years for females and 76.4 for males. The CDC figure includes the death of Americans who never reach the age of 65.

 The 10 leading causes of death in 2012 were the same as in 2011.

(7/28/14)- There are now 1.4 million people over the age of 60 living in New York City, according to city data from the Department of Aging. This represents about17% of the city’s total population, and is an increase of 12.4% in the last decade.

The data also indicates that more than one in six people 65 and over live below the federal poverty line, according to the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, a city agency The federal poverty level pegged for New York City was $11,404 in annual income in 2011

(6/20/14)- Census Bureau statistics show that in 1960, 3/4ths of adults were married, compared with slightly over 50% today. On average people married about 6 years younger than they do today.

These same figures show that the fertility rate was 80% higher in 1960 than today, resulting in more babies born to a smaller population.

(1/6/14)- The baby boom generation, or those turning 50 this year will make up roughly 25% of the population, according to the latest figure from the U.S. Census bureau. About 12,500 Americans will turn 50 every day this year. It is estimated that there are now over 9.2 million veterans 65 or older.

The median net worth of householders 65 and older, not including the value of their homes was about $170,000 in 2010. 1946 is considered to be the starting year of the baby boom era, so those original boomers are now collecting their Social Security checks. It is just a matter of time now before Florida’s population will exceed that of New York, as the warmer climate beckons the aging nation.

(1/1/14)- The population in the United States grew to 316,128,839 in July 2013 from 313,873,685 the year before, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase of 0.72% was the smallest percentage increase in more than seven decades.

New York barely edged out Florida by about 100,000 for the number 3 spot in total state population, with California and Texas being numbers one and two. The largest population increases were in Texas (387,397 people), California (332,643) and Florida (232,111). New York, which added 75,002 people, ranked ninth.

California this year became the first state to top 38 million residents, with a population of 38,332,521.

The figures from the bureau showed that one birth is expected every eight seconds, and a death every 12 seconds in this country.

The projected world population on January 1, 2014 is 7,137,577,562 which is up 1.1% from January 1, 2013. India led all nations by adding 15.6 million people over the one year period of time, followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

 (11/20/13)- From an article by Joseph Berger in the November 19, 2013 edition of the N.Y. Times entitled: “Casting Light on Little-Known Story of Albania Rescuing Jews From Nazis”- 90% of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews were killed, 88% of Germany’s 240,000 Jews were killed, 77% of Greece’s 70,000 Jews were killed.

Albania saved virtually all of its 200 native Jews and 400 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria, through its policy of “besa” or saving its natives based on their country of origin rather than their religion.

Denmark saved about 7,000 of its 7,800 Jews largely by helping them cross the channel to neutral Sweden. Although Bulgaria turned over about 11,000 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace it saved about 48,000 of its own Jewish citizens.

(7/19/13)- The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics showed that the difference in life expectancy between blacks and whites is about 4 years. This is the narrowest gap since the federal government began to track the disparity in the 1830s

Blacks had a higher rate of death from heart disease, cancer, homicide, diabetes and infant mortality. Life expectancy for blacks rose to 75 years in 2010, up from 64 in 1970. For whites it rose to 79 years in 2010, from 72 in 1970.

(6/14/13)- The U.S. Census Bureau reported, and in a separate analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics by demographer Kenneth Johnson at the University of New Hampshire, that for the first time since the data has been kept, the number of non-Hispanic white Americans who died in the year ended June 2012 exceeded, the number who were born during that period by about 12,400.

50.1% of children under 5 are white, but that proportion is expected to fall because the majority of births have been minority children for two years in a row.

(5/7/13)- The number of suicides in a year rose 31% to 38,364 in 2010 from 29,181 in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is the most recent year for which these statistics were available.

For adults aged 35 to 64, the group most responsible for the increase, suicide is now the fourth most common cause of death, behind cancer, heart disease and unintentional injury such as drowning. That is up from the eighth spot in 1999.

(4/1/13)- The March 2013 NCHS Data Brief, #115 is the most up-to-date report on deaths in the United States. It covers the year 2011. In that year, the age-adjusted death rate was 740,6 per 100,000 population. In 2010 the rate was 747.0, indicating a 0.9% drop in 2011.

Life expectancy at birth in 2011 was 78.7 years, the same for the year 2010. The longest life expectancy is found in Hispanic women at 83.7 years. Non-Hispanic white females have a life expectancy of 81.1 years, while non-Hispanic white males life expectancy is 76.4 years. The lowest life expectancy is found among non-Hispanic black males at 71.6 years.

According to NCHS Data brief, [M}uch of the recent improvement in death rates and life expectancy for all population groups can be attributed to continuing declines in death rates from major causes of death, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases."

Death rates in states vary from a low-age adjusted rate of 584.8 deaths per 100,000 in Hawaii to a high in Mississippi of 956.2 deaths per 100,000 population. Regionally, the southeast had higher death rates than any other region in the United States.

In general, the five leading causes of death-heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and accidents- account for 62% of all deaths. Causes of death vary with age. In the 65 and over category, heart disease accounts for 26% of the deaths, cancer for 22%, chronic lower respiratory diseases 7%, stroke 6%, Alzheimer's disease 5% and all other causes 34%. The three leading causes of death in ages 1-24 are accidents 38%, homicides 13%, and suicides 13%, all external causes.

One interesting trend presented in the NCHS Data Brief is the steady decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) since 1990. "Although the IMR for 2011 is not significantly different from the rate for 2010 (6.15 deaths per 1,000 live births), the IMR in 2011 was 34% lower than in 1999 (9.22)."

(2/12/13)- Average life expectancy rose to 81.1 for women, and 76.2 for men in 2011, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, from 76.6 for women and 68.8 for men in 1975.

The maximum amount for gift giving rose to $14,000 per person, to any individual, up from $13,000 is 2012. Couples can therefore give up to $28,000 to any one individual. There is a life-time gift tax exemption of $5.25 million per person, up from $5.12 million per person in 2011.The federal tax rate above the exemption is now 40%, up from 35% last year.

(1/14/13)- According to the Institute of Medicine's latest report, Americans are leading sicker lives than many of the wealthy nations of the world. In fact, the United States is near the bottom in such areas as infant mortality, low birth weight, injuries and homicides, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Interestingly, even those individuals with health insurance, higher education, and healthy behaviors appear to be sicker than their counterparts in other countries. The good news is that we rank more favorably in these areas: mortality for those older than 75, stroke and cancer mortality, management of blood pressure and cholesterol and smoking rates.

(12/11/12)- The Pew Research Center announced that the national birthrate dropped in 2011 to an all-time low of 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The birthrate declined by 14% among foreign-born women from 2007 to 2010, more than double the 6 % drop among American born women over the same period.

The rate for Mexican immigrants fell by 23 % during this period of time.

The Pew Research Center attributed the decline to the weakened economy as the main culprit

(6/14/12)-The results of a study that was published in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the average age life expectancy for black men born in 2011 is 70.8 years, while it is 76.2 years for non-Hispanic white men.

The average age life expectancy for black women born is 77.5 years compared to 81.2 for non-Hispanic white women.

Sam Harper, who was the lead researcher for the study is an assistant professor of epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health at McGill University.

(2/4/12)- Union membership in this country fell to 11.8% of the American workforce in 2011, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was down from the 11.9% figure in 2010, even though total membership rose by 49,000 to 14.76 million. This decline occurred because the percentage growth in employment exceeded the percentage growth in union membership.

According to the bureau, 16.3 million workers are represented by unions, some 1.5 million more than the total membership. This indicates that many workers are opting out of joining the unions that represent them at their workplaces.

The percentage of public sector workers in unions was 37% last year, more than five times the 6.9% membership rate for the private sector workers. The percentage of union membership in unions for the private sector has decreased from the more than 35% membership rate in the 1950s.

New York State had the highest unionization rate at 24.1% while North Carolina has the lowest membership rate at 2.9%.

The unemployment rate among Americans 75 and older was 5.6% last year, compared to 2.5% in 2006 according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of December, 1.21 million people ages 75 and older were working, a 25% jump from the 1.05 million in 2005.

7.3% of the oldest Americans have jobs, up from 5.3% a decade ago, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

(12/5/11)- According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 40.3 million people age 65 and older living in this country as of April 2010. That is an increase of 15% from the prior census in 2000. Nationally the population grew by 9.7% from 2000 to 2010.

Those who are 65 or older now comprise 13% of the population, which is the greatest percentage of the population for this age group since the government began compiling this data.

The Northeast had the largest percentage of people 65 or older, at 14%, but the fastest growth in this category of older people took place in the West where the percentage of growth from 2000 was 23% over the decade.

Nationwide, the only group that experienced a decline was that of the 75-to 79 age category, which was down by 1.3% over the decade, reflecting the low number of births during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

(8/2/11)- The July 2011 National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, No. 64, entitled Death in the United States, 2009 reported that "life expecxtancy at birth reached a record high of 78.2 years. White females had the longest life expectancy (80.9 years), followed by black females (77.4 years)."

(3/27/11)- In a preliminary report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average age estimated for the life of a baby born in 2009 is 78 years and 2 months. This is the longest life expectancy estimate in U.S. history. The infant mortality rate hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1,000 live births, a drop of nearly 3% from 2008.

Male life expectancy is about 75.5 years, while female life expectancy is almost 80.5 years.

(3/21/11)- Deaths from 10 of the top 15 leading causes of death in 2009 significantly declined. The 15 leading causes of death in 2009 and the decreases in associated death rates were reported as follows:

1.Heart disease: 3.7%; 2.Cancer: 1.1%; 3.Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 4.1%; 4.Stroke: 4.2%; 5.Accidents: 4.1%; 6.Alzheimer's disease: 4.1%;
7.Diabetes: 4.1%; 8.Flu and pneumonia: 4.7%; 9.Inflammation and scarring of the kidneys (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis): no change;
10.Intentional self-harm (suicide): no change; 11.Widespread blood infection (septicemia): 1.8%; 12.Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: no change;
13.High blood pressure (essential hypertension) and kidney disease due to long-term high blood pressure: no change; 14.Parkinson's disease: no change;
15.Homicide: 6.8%.

Suicide swapped places with septicemia in the 2009 ranking to become the 10th leading cause of death, although the number of suicides did not significantly increase between 2008 and 2009.

(12/21/10)- The age-adjusted death rate decreased from 760.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2007 to 758.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2008.

From 2007 to 2008 age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly for 6 of the 15 leading causes of death: diseases of heart, malignant neoplasms, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents (unintentional injuries), diabetes mellitus, and assault (homicide).

From 2007 to 2008 age-adjusted death rates increased significantly for 6 of the 15 leading causes of death: chronic lower respiratory diseases; alzheimer's disease; influenza and pneumonia; nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis; intentional self-harm (suicide); and essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease." (From National Vital Statistic Reports dated Dec. 9th, 2010, Volume 9.

(12/11/10)- The preliminary report from the National Center for Health Statistics for 2008, the latest year for which it is available, showed that life expectancy in this country dropped from 77.9 years in 2007 to 77.8 years in 2008.

Chronic lower respiratory diseases, which includes asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis became the 3rd leading cause for death in 2008, replacing stroke which dropped down to the number 4 slot.

Heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death, accounted for almost half of all deaths in 2008

(9/30/10)- As of the end of August there was a total of 14.9 million unemployed people in this country. Of that total, more than 2.2 million were 55 or older. Nearly half of them have been unemployed 6 months or longer, according to Labor Department statistics. The unemployment rate in the group-7.3%- is at a record, more than double what it was at the beginning of the recession.

(8/30/10)- Just as was the case in past recessions, the birthrate fell for the second year in a row since the recession began in 2007. The birthrate, which takes into account changes in the population, fell to 13.5 births for every 1,000 people last year. That is down from 14.3 people in 2007. Back in 1909 the birthrate in this country was 30.

There were an estimated 4,136,000 births in 2009, down from the 4,247,000 estimated births in 2008, and more than 4.3 million estimated births in 2007. The total number of births in 2007 was the greatest number of births that we have ever had in this country.

Recent recessions have all been followed by dips in the birthrate, according to the agency's figures. These figures included the recession years of 1981-1982, 1990-1991 and 2001. The birthrate dipped below 20 per 1,000 people in 1932 and did not rise above that level until the early 1940s.

"It's a good sized decline for one year," said Stephanie Ventura, the demographer who oversaw the report for the National Center for Health Statistics.

(3/25/10)- An analysis of Census Bureau statistics shows that multigenerational families, which accounted for 25% of the population in 1940, but only 12% of the population by 1980, edged up to 16% in 2008.

The analysis shows that the proportion of people 65 and older who live alone, which had risen from 6% in 1900 to 29% in 1990, declined slightly to 27% in 2008.

The number of older people living in multigenerational families rose to 20% in 2008 from 17% in 1980.

The proportion of those 85 and older living by themselves grew to 39% in 2008 form 22% in 1970. Among adults 65 and older, half are married, a share that has remained fairly constant since 1900. Nearly 25% are divorced and 60% are widowed.

The 2007 infant mortality rate (6.77/1000 live births) was slightly higher than the 2006 rate (6.69/1000 live births) but lower than the 2000 rate (6.89/1000 live births). The infant mortality rate in the U.S. continues to rank at about the 25th highest in the world

(1/25/10)- The number of deaths in the United States for 2007 was 2,423,995 (preliminary data). The age-adjusted death rate reached a record low of 760.3 per 100,000 population in 2007.

The death rate is now 43 percent lower than in 1960. The change can be attributed to the ongoing reductions in death rates from major causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and stroke.

Life expectancy at birth reached a record high of 77.9 years. 72.5 percent of all deaths occurred among those aged 65 and over (1,759,472 deaths), and 29.5 percent occurred at age 85 and over.(NCHS Data Brief, #26, Dec 2009)

(10/22/09)- The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 85+ age group of the population is the single fastest growing population segment. The number of individuals in this group is expected to reach seven million in 2020, up from four million in 2000. This segment is estimated to reach 21 million by 2050.

Life expectancy has increased from 69.7 years in 1960 to 77.8 years in 2006 and this figure is projected to grow to 78.3 in 2010 and 79.5 in 2020.

Please see our item dated 9/16/09 below for some slightly different figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for individuals aged 65 and over, accounting for 28% of all deaths in this age group. Cancer accounts for 22%, stroke 7%, chronic lower respiratory diseases 6%, Alzheimer's disease 4% and all other causes 33%. (NCHS Data Brief #26, Dec. 2009).

(9/16/09)- The average age of the world's population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The number of people worldwide age 65 and older is estimated at 506 million as of midyear 2008; by 2040, that number will hit 1.3 billion. Thus, in just over 30 years, the proportion of older people will double from 7 percent to 14 percent of the total world population, according to a new report, "An Aging World: 2008."

U.S. life expectancy has risen to a new high, now standing at nearly 78 years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase is due mainly to falling death rates in almost all the leading causes of deaths. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2007 (77.9 years) is nearly three months greater than for children born in 2006 (77.7 years).

Death rates are at a record low in the United States according to the same report. Age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly for 8 of the 15 leading causes of death. The decrease in death rate held across all races and ethnicities, with black males showing the largest decrease- more than 4%. The drop occurred in all age groups except infants under 1 year old, where rates were unchanged.

(9/4/06)- The average age at which people are dying today in the United States is 68.5 for men, and 76.1 for women, according to Arialdi M. Minio of the National Center for Health Statistics. This differs from life expectancy, which estimates how long people born today are expected to live,

(9/18/99)- At birth, the American woman's life expectancy is now 79.1 years and a male's life expectancy is 73.1 years. According to statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation women account for 54% of the Medicare beneficiaries from the age of 65 to 74, and account for 61% of the beneficiaries between the ages of 75 to 84. Women make up over 2/3rds of the nursing home population and 2/3rds of the users of home health care services.

According to statistics from the Older Women's League nearly 7 out of 10 Medicare beneficiaries who live below the Federal poverty level ($7,740 a year in 1996) are women. Seventeen % of the women on Medicare have incomes below this Federal poverty level.

As of 1995, it was estimated that the US population was 48.8% male and 87.4% non-black, with a median age of 34.3 (33.1 for males, 35.4 for females). The median age was up from 28 in 1970. In 1995, 28.9% of the population was under twenty, and 12.7% was age 65 and over, up from 9.8% in 1970. In 1995, about 63% of males and 59% of females 18 years and older were married, contrasting with 74% and 70%, respectively, in 1970. In 1990, about 6.7 million Americans lived in "group quarters" including 1.8 million persons in nursing homes and 1.9 million in college dorms. In 1994 over 1 million Americans were imprisoned.

See Article on Selecting a Nursing Home

For 1994, the crude death rate (total deaths per 1000 population) in the US was 8.8. This compares with a rate of 9.6 for 1950, 9.5 for 1970, 8.8 for 1980, but 8.2 for 1992. Mortality is relatively high during the first years of life; it drops by increasing age groups to a relatively low level until the mid-40s and then begins to climb again.

Males have a higher mortality rate than females at all ages. Thus, as the average age of the population increases, the female/male ratio increases as well.

In 1996, the 10 leading causes of death by disease-specific diagnosis categories (including "symptoms and ill-defined conditions and "all other diseases") were heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and influenza (primarily pneumonia), diabetes mellitus, all other infection and parasitic diseases, human immunodeficiency virus infection and suicide.

See Article on Respiratory Infections

McGinniss and Foege (1990) went beyond the classic list of death associated disease-specific diagnosis to the identification of the major external (non-genetic) factors known to be causally associated with death. They were able to attribute approximately half of all deaths occurring in 1991 to the following 10 risk factors; tobacco use (400,000 deaths), diet and activity (300,000), alcohol use (100,000), microbial agents (90,000), toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicle use (25,000) and use of "illicit drugs" primarily heroin and cocaine (20,000).

In 1994, the marriage rate stood at 9.1 per 1000 population, down from 10.6 in 1970. The divorce rate, which had been at 5.2 per 1000 population in 1980, was 4.6 in 1994, slightly over 50% of the marriage rate. Even as the marriage rate has dropped in time, the proportion entering in divorce has increased slightly.

In 1995, one in six Americans-41 million people- had a chronic condition needing long-term care services. Of these more than 12 million said they needed assistance to perform activities and were unable to attend school, work or live independently. Eighty (80) percent of them reported that they needed assistance to live at home or in community residential settings. The remaining 20% were residing in institutions. Of the total 12 million who needed assistance, 57% were over 65 years of age, but 5 million (40%) were working-age adults. Children and youth represented 3% (400,000) of those needing long-term care services.

See Article on Long Term Care

There are about 78 million baby boomers and starting after June 1996, about 10,000 of these boomers will turn 50 years old everyday. Those over the age of 75 years old are in the fastest-growing segment of the US population and by the year 2000 will constitute almost half of the elderly population.

Last year, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the US was 2.32 million (ranges 1.09 to 4.58 million) with approximately 68% women and 32% men (there are more women because of lower mortality rate). At this point, 4.3% of 75-year-olds, 8.5% of all 80 year-olds, 16% of all 85 year-olds and 28% of all 90 year-olds live with Alzheimer’s disease. This places approximately 43% of all people with Alzheimer’s disease between 75 & 85 years of age.

More than 50% of outpatients treated at a dementia clinic exhibit problematic behaviors (aggressiveness, delusions, agitation, anxiety, and depression) and about 20% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are physically aggressive.

See Demographics Part II-Cancer Statistics Update

See Articles on Alzheimer's Disease


By Harold Rubin, MS, ABD, CRC, Guest Lecturer
updated December 22 2016

e-mail: or

Return to home