Following is a snapshot of the 65 and older generation. This demographic has become the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population:
- The U.S. population age 65 and older is expected to double in size within the next 22 years.
- By 2030, nearly one out of five Americans — approximately 72 million people — will be 65 years or older.
- In 2001, 78 million seniors controlled 67 percent ($28 trillion) of the country’s wealth.
- American seniors have $2.4 trillion in annual income, accounting for 42 percent of all after-tax income. They also own 65 percent of the aggregate net worth of all U.S. households and accounted for an estimated $2 trillion in total expenditures in 2005.
- Higher levels of education, which are linked to better health, higher income, more wealth and a higher standard of living in retirement, will continue to increase among people 65 and older. By 2030, more than one-fourth of the older population is expected to have an undergraduate degree.
- 14 million people, age 65 and older, reported some level of disability in Census 2000, mostly linked to a high prevalence of chronic conditions such as heart disease or arthritis.
- 82 percent of seniors use the Internet to research health and wellness information online.
Sources: U.S. Census, Federal Reserve, U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, Pew Internet and American Life Project