The Older Population: 2010

Carrie A. Werner

2010 Census Briefs, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU


The older population is an important and growing segment of the United States population. In fact, more people were 65 years and over in 2010 than in any previous census. Between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years and over increased at a faster rate (15.1 percent) than the total U.S population (9.7 percent). In addition to growth in the older population, pronounced growth in the male population 65 years and over occurred during the decade. The disproportionate increase in the older male population has not only contributed to the growth of the overall population 65 years and over, but has also led to a narrowing of the gap between males and females at the older ages. As larger numbers of males and females reach age 65 years and over, it becomes increasingly important to understand this population as well as the implications population aging has for various family, social, and economic aspects of society.

This report describes the older population of the United States in 2010. It is part of a series that provides an overview of the population and housing data collected from the 2010 Census. It also provides information on the age and sex structure and geographic distribution of the population 65 years and over at the national and subnational levels. The data for this report are based on the 2010 Census Summary File 1, which is among the first data products released from the 2010 Census.