ACL Releases Annual ‘Profile of Older Americans’

The Administration on Community Living (ACL) recently released the Profile of Older Americans, which 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, and health. The 2021 Profile includes a special section on family caregiving.

Some of the highlights of the report include the following:

  • People age 65+ represented 17% of the total US population in 2020. By comparison, the percent of older adults in 2000 was 12.4%, and that figure is expected to reach 22% by 2040.
  • States/Territories with the highest proportion of people age 65 and older are Maine, Florida, West Virginia, Vermont and Puerto Rico.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 older adults were members of a racial or ethnic minority.
  • While more than half of the older adults living in the community lived with a spouse, about 27% lived alone, and that figure is expected to increase over time.  Women were more likely to live alone than men.
  • Poverty rates for older adults were highest in the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky.  Poverty rates were highest among African American, Hispanic and Asian older adults when compared to the White, non-Hispanic population.

According to the report, the population age 65 and older increased from 40.5 million in 2010 to 55.7 million in 2020 (a 38% increase) and is projected to reach 94.7 million in 2060. By 2040, there will be about 80.8 million older persons, more than twice as many as in 2000.

For more information, see the full Profile of Older Americans here.