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The older population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse as the overall minority population in the U.S. grows and experiences greater longevity. Racial and ethnic minority populations have increased from 6.3 million in 2003 (17.5% of the older adult population) to 9.5 million in 2013 (21.2% of older adults), and are projected to increase to 21.1 million in 2030 (28.5% of older adults).

This page provides information on minority older adults in the U.S. For additional information, visit the Profile of Older Americans.

Statistical Profiles

African Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2014, there were 46.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.2 million age 85 and over. The population age 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million. The population age 85 and older is expected to triple to 19.7 million. Among the population age 65 and over, there are 127 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increases to 192 women for every 100 men. Along with these general trends for America’s population, the Black or African American population is living longer.

The Older Black Population: Past, Present, and Future

Population and Projections of Black Persons Aged 65+: 2014 to 2060

The non-Hispanic African American older population was 4 million in 2014. It is projected to grow to 12 million by 2060. In 2014, African Americans made up 9% of the older population. That population is projected to grow to 12% by 2060.

Centenarians

In 2014, there were 8,582 African Americans 100 years or older (1,558 men and 7,024 women) 12% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2013, more than 50% of older Black adults lived in eight states: New York (331,114), Florida (286,438), Texas (255,362), Georgia (252,101), California (248,195), North Carolina (221,725), Illinois (196,584), and Maryland (177,521).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including African Americans. In 2014, 74% of the African American population age 65 and older had finished high school, and 17% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, only 44% of older African Americans were high school graduates and 7% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. There are still educational differences among racial and ethnic groups. In 2014, 84% of all older persons were high school graduates and 26% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Marital Status

In 2014, 37% of older African Americans were married, 31% were widowed, 16% were divorced, 5% were separated, and 11% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2013, 56% of older African American men lived with their spouses, 12% lived with other relatives, 4% lived with non-relatives, and 28% lived alone. For older African American women, 26% lived with their spouses, 32% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 39% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

In 2013, households containing families headed by African Americans age 65 and over reported a median income of $42,805. The comparable figure for all older households was $54,184. The median personal income for older African American men was $23,026 and $14,633 for women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $29,854 for men and $17,366 for women. The poverty rate in 2013 for African Americans age 65 and older was 18.7%, higher than the rate for all older Americans (10.2%).

Note: Income and poverty estimates are based on redesigned income questions from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Self-Rated Health Status

Between 2011-2013, 27% of older African American men and women reported very good/excellent health status. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 45% for men and 47% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among African American men ages 65-74, 31% reported very good/excellent health compared with 17% among those aged 85 or older. Among African American women, this rate declined from 30% at ages 65-74 to 20% at age 85 or older.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most common conditions among older non-Hispanic African Americans between 2011-2013 were: hypertension (85% in 2009-2012), diagnosed arthritis (51%), all types of heart disease (27%), diagnosed diabetes (39% in 2009-2012), and cancer (17%). The comparable figures for all older persons were: hypertension (71% in 2009-2012), diagnosed arthritis (49%), all types of heart disease (31%), diagnosed diabetes (21% in 2009-2012), and cancer (25%).

Access to Medical Care

In 2013, 34% of older African Americans had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance, and 11% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, almost 50% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance, and 6% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. Between 2011-2013, 4% of older non-Hispanic African Americans reported they had no usual source of health care compared with 4% of all older Americans.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2013, state and Area Agencies on Aging  provided services to a total of 11.1 million persons age 60 or older. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 12% were African American.

Principal sources of data for this Profile are the most current information available from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics as of September 30, 2015.

Printable Handout: A Statistical Profile of Older African Americans (PDF, 211KB)

American Indian and Native Alaskans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2014, there were 46.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.2 million age 85 and over. The number of people age 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million. The number of people age 85 and older is expected to triple to 19.7 million. Among the population age 65 and over, there are 127 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increases to 192 women for every 100 men. Along with general trends for America’s population, the American Indian and Alaskan Native population is living longer.

The Older American Indian and Native Alaskan Population: Past, Present, and Future

Population and Projections of Older American Indian and Native Alaskans Aged 65+: 2014 to 2060

The non-Hispanic American Indian and Native Alaskan older population was 231,482 in 2014, and is projected to grow to more than 630,000 by 2060. In 2014, American Indian and Native Alaskan persons made up 0.5% of the older population. By 2060, it is projected to be almost 1%.

Centenarians

In 2014, there were 331 American Indian and Native Alaskans (95 men and 236 women) age 100 and over less than 1% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2013, almost 50% (107,141) of older American Indian and Native Alaskans lived in just six states: Oklahoma (27,765), Arizona (21,690), California (20,011), New Mexico (15,756), North Carolina (12,143), and Texas (9,776).

Self-Rated Health Status

During 2011-2013, 23% of older American Indian and Native Alaskan men and 30% of older American Indian and Native Alaskan women reported very good/excellent health. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 45% for men and 47% for women.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Two frequently occurring conditions among older American Indian and Native Alaskans in 2011-2013 were diagnosed arthritis (57%) and all types of heart disease (25%). The comparable figures for all older persons were 49% and 31%, respectively.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2013, state and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11.1 million persons aged 60 and older. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 1.2% were American Indian and Native Alaskan.

Number of American Indian and Native Alaskans age 65 and over, by state, 2013

50 States + DC

218,285

Alabama

3,070

Alaska

7,937

Arizona

21,690

Arkansas

2,201

California

20,011

Colorado

2,864

Connecticut

799

Delaware

496

District of Columbia

206

Florida

6,882

Georgia

2,524

Hawaii

277

Idaho

1,750

Illinois

2,057

Indiana

1,649

Iowa

614

Kansas

2,058

Kentucky

1,072

Louisiana

2,953

Maine

777

Maryland

1,733

Massachusetts

1,373

Michigan

5,612

Minnesota

4,072

Mississippi

1,168

Missouri

2,744

Montana

4,418

Nebraska

936

Nevada

2,668

New Hampshire

284

New Jersey

1,690

New Mexico

15,756

New York

6,081

North Carolina

12,143

North Dakota

2,100

Ohio

2,582

Oklahoma

27,765

Oregon

4,427

Pennsylvania

2,153

Rhode Island

530

South Carolina

1,972

South Dakota

4,117

Tennessee

2,234

Texas

9,776

Utah

1,654

Vermont

250

Virginia

2,676

Washington

8,035

West Virginia

544

Wisconsin

4,060

Wyoming

845

Principal sources of data for this Profile are the most current information available from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics as of September 30, 2015.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older American Indian and Native Alaskans (PDF, 300KB)

Asian Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2014, there were 46.2 million Americans age 65 and over and 6.2 million age 85 and over. The number of people age 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million, and the number of people aged 85 and older is expected to triple to 19.7 million. Among the population age 65 and over, there are 127 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increases to 192 women for every 100 men. Along with general trends for America’s population, the Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Island population is living longer.

The Older Asian Population: Past, Present, and Future

Population and Projections of Asians Aged 65+: 2014 to 2060

The non-Hispanic Asian older population was 1.9 million in 2014 and is projected to grow to 8.5 million by 2060. In 2014, older Asians made up 4% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage is projected to be 9%.

Centenarians

In 2014, there were 3,039 Asians age 100 years and over (906 men and 2,133 women) 4% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2013, more than 60% (1,050,520) of older Asians lived in just four States: California (677,524), New York (160,938), Hawaii (122,440), and Texas (89,618).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older adults, including Asian Americans. In 2014, 76% of the Asian population age 65 and older had finished high school, and 36% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, 65% had finished high school and 22% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Interestingly, the percentage of older Asians in 2014 who had a bachelor’s degree or higher (36%) was higher than for the overall older population (26%).

Marital Status

In 2014, 63% of older Asians were married, 22% were widowed, 6% were divorced, 4% were separated, and 5% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2013, 81% of older Asian men lived with their spouses, 8% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 9% lived alone. For older Asian women, 47% lived with their spouses, 33% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 18% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

In 2013, households containing families headed by Asians age 65 and over reported a median income of $55,335. The comparable figure for all older households was $54,184. The median personal income for older Asian men was $24,093 and $14,602 for older Asian women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $29,854 for men and $17,366 for women. The poverty rate in 2013 for Asians age 65 and over was 16.7% while the rate for all older Americans was 10.2%. 

Income and poverty estimates are based on redesigned income questions from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Self-Rated Health Status

During 2011-2013, 35% of older Asian men and 31% of older Asian women reported very good/excellent health. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 45% for men and 47% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among Asian men ages 65-74, 41% reported very good/excellent health, compared with 16% among those age 85 or older. Similarly, among Asian women, this rate declined from 39% at ages 65-74 to 13% at age 85 or older.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most frequently occurring conditions among older Asians in 2011-2013 were: diagnosed arthritis (36%), all types of heart disease (24%), and cancer (12%). The comparable figures for all older persons were 49%, 31%, 25%, respectively.

Access to Medical Care

In 2013, 31% of older Asians had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance, and 18% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, almost 50% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance, and 6% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In 2011-2013, 4% of older Asians reported they had no usual source of health care compared with 4% of all older Americans.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2013, State and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11.1 million persons aged 60 and older. Consistent with \requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 3% were Asians.

Principal sources of data for this Profile are the most current information available from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics as of September 30, 2015.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older Asian Americans (PDF, 263KB)

Hispanic Americans Age 65+

Introduction

In 2014, there were 46.2 million Americans aged 65 and over and 6.2 million aged 85 and over. The number of people aged 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million. The number of people age 85 and older is expected to triple to 19.7 million. Among the population age 65 and over, there are 127 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increases to 192 women for every 100 men. All Americans are living longer and the same is true for the Hispanic population.

The Older Hispanic Population: Past, Present, and Future

Population and Projections of Hispanics Aged 65+: 2014 to 2060

The Hispanic older population (of any race) was 3.6 million in 2014 and is projected to grow to 21.5 million by 2060. In 2014, Hispanics made up 8% of the older population. By 2060, the percentage is projected to be 22%.

Centenarians

In 2014, there were 5,272 Hispanics age 100 years and over (1,397 men and 3,875 women) 7% of all centenarians.

Residence

In 2013, almost 70% (2,312,653) of older Hispanics lived in just four states: California (886,636), Texas (633,534), Florida (502,453), and New York (290,030).

Education

The past decade has seen a significant increase in educational attainment among older Americans, including Hispanics. In 2014, 54% of the Hispanic population age 65 and older had finished high school and 12% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 1998, only 29% of Hispanic elderly were high school graduates and 5% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Nonetheless, there are still educational differences among racial and ethnic groups. In 2014, 84% of all older persons were high school graduates and 26% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Marital Status

In 2014, 52% of older Hispanics were married, 24% were widowed, 11% were divorced, 6% were separated, and 7% had never been married.

Living Arrangements

In 2013, 69% of older Hispanic men lived with their spouses, 12% lived with other relatives, 5% lived with non-relatives, and 14% lived alone. For older Hispanic women, 39% lived with their spouses, 33% lived with other relatives, 2% lived with non-relatives, and 26% lived alone.

Income and Poverty

Households containing families headed by Hispanics age 65 and over reported a median income in 2013 of $44,228. The comparable figure for all older households was $54,184. The median personal income for older Hispanic men was $15,240 and $11,255 for older Hispanic women. The comparable figures for all older persons were $29,854 for men and $17,366 for women. The poverty rate in 2013 for Hispanics age 65 and over was 20.4% which is double the rate for all older Americans (10.2%). 

Income and poverty estimates are based on redesigned income questions from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Self-Rated Health Status

During 2011-2013, 33% of older Hispanic men and 27% of older Hispanic women reported very good/excellent health. Among older non-Hispanic whites, this figure was 45% for men and 47% for women. Positive health evaluations decline with age. Among Hispanic men ages 65-74, 34% reported very good/excellent health, compared with 23% among those aged 85 or older. Similarly, among Hispanic women, this rate declined from 31% at ages 65-74 to 19% at age 85 or older.

Chronic Conditions

Most older persons have at least one chronic health condition and many have multiple conditions. Some of the most frequently occurring conditions among older Hispanics in 2011-2013 were: hypertension (75% in 2009-2012), diagnosed arthritis (45%), all types of heart disease (25%), diagnosed diabetes (27% in 2009-2012), and cancer (12%). The comparable figures for all older persons were: hypertension (71% in 2009-2012), diagnosed arthritis (49%), all types of heart disease (31%), diagnosed diabetes (21% in 2009-2012), and cancer (25%).

Access to Medical Care

In 2013, 23% of older Hispanics had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance, and 17% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In comparison, almost 50% of all older adults had both Medicare and supplementary private health insurance and 6% were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. In 2011-2013, 7% of older Hispanics reported they had no usual source of health care compared with 4% of all older Americans.

Participation in Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs

In 2013, State and Area Agencies on Aging provided services to a total of 11.1 million persons aged 60 and older. Consistent with requirements of the OAA, considerable emphasis was placed on services to persons with the greatest social and economic need, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and especially those who are poor. Among the older persons who received Title III OAA home and community-based registered services, 8% were Hispanic.

Principal sources of data for this Profile are the most current information available from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics as of September 30, 2015.

Printable handout: A Statistical Profile of Older Hispanic Americans (PDF, 221KB)


Last modified on 09/05/2017


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