"Older Americans 2011:Key Indicators of Well-Being"

(2/29/19)- The number of New Yorkers 65or older increased by 26% between 2007 and 2017, making it the fastest growing age group, according to the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan think tank

Nationwide, 14.9% of the population were 65 or older in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Between 3,000 and 5,000 people are on waiting lists for services such as home-delivered meals and home care, offered by the New York State Office for the Aging, according to acting director Greg Olsen. Governor Cuomo has proposed adding $15 million to the office’s budget, a sum that could eliminate the backlog.

(7/26/13)- According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that was released in June, informal caregivers (friends and relatives) provided at least 11.2 billion hours of unpaid care to family members and friends in 2011. The report estimated that about 4% of adults under age 65 were providing unpaid care to relatives or friends who were 65 or older in 2010.

Elderly people and their families spent at least $3 billion on their own in 2011 on long-term care in their community, mainly at home, in addition to $36 billion on nursing homes, and other long term care facilities, according to the CBO.

One-third of adults 65 or older-and two-thirds of those who have reached their midi-80s- have functional limitation, ranging from needing help with eating and bathing to preparing meals or paying bills.

Although the threshold for taking medical deductions rose to 10% from 7.5% of adjusted gross income this year, it remains 7.5% for people 65 and older.

Respite programs are available nationwide through social service agencies, non-profit groups and long-term-care providers. A federal government site to visit seeking this kind of assistance is or call 800-677-1116.

(4/1/12)- The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics report covering the status of older Americans is dated 1/14/11. To review the report, please go to

One if five working New Yorkers is now 55 years older, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of older workers in the work force has increased by 16% since 2007, according to the bureau. The unemployment rate for those over 55 is 5.9%, compared to the 8.2% for the national average.

For additional information on this topic, please see our article "Receiving Social Security and Still Working"

(8/27/00)- The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics recently released its first report that describes the status of the nation's older Americans. The public may view copies of the report on the web site Single printed copies of "Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being" are available from the National Center for Health Statistics, at (301) 458-4636 or by sending an e-mail request to Anyone wishing multiple printed copies of the report should contact Forum Staff Director Kristen Robinson at (301) 458-4460 or send an e-mail request to"

The 128-page report covers 31 key indicators carefully selected by the Forum to portray aspects of the lives of
older Americans and their families. The report is divided into five subject areas: population, economics, health
status, health risks and behaviors, and health care.

According to the report an estimated 35 million people, or 13 % of our population are 65 or older. Those over 85 are the fastest growing segment of the older population. In 1998 11 % of older Americans had incomes below the poverty level, whereas 35 % were below that level in 1959. Americans born today will outlive their predecessors born in 1900 by about 30 years. As of 1997, the latest year for which the statistics are available a female born in that year will live to be 79 and male will live to be 74.

As of 1995, 60 % of the population 70 and older suffered from arthritis. 33 % of the population 85 or older have moderate to severe memory impairment. Older Americans were engaging in more active lives as shown by the fact that the percentage who were sedentary decreased from 34 % to 28% for men and from 44 % to 39 % for women between 1985 and 1995. Over 60 % of older people in the non-Hispanic white grouping had been vaccinated against the flu and pneumonia.

In 1996 69 % of the non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries had some type of private or public coverage of prescription drugs, while 31 % did not have any coverage at all. In 1997 11 people per 1,000 age 65 through 74 lived in a nursing home, compared with 192 people per 1,00 among those age 85 and older. About 3/4th of nursing home residents are women.

These are but a few of the statistics we gleaned from the report. If you want a more detailed examination of the report we recommend that you go into the report for yourself. To quote from the report "The Federal Forum on Aging-Related Statistics was established in 1986 to foster collaboration among federal agencies that produce or use data on the older population. The Forum is made up of nine federal agencies -- the Administration on Aging, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Health Care Financing Administration, the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (Department of Health and Human Services), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Social Security Administration. Other agencies contributing to "Older Americans 2000" are the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Department of Justice), the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (Department of Transportation), and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (Department of Agriculture).


By Allan Rubin
updated February 29, 2019

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