America’s population is aging rapidly: nearly one in every seven, or almost 15 percent of our population, is 65+.
In some communities, this is even higher. Over the next decade, this number will double. Whether or not you intend to fund in aging, you will likely find older adults among the populations you serve.
How much do you know about older Americans? They are more diverse, healthier, and important to our communities than you may think.
Older adults are ethnically diverse:
- Today, more than one out of five adults age 65+ is a person of color. This figure will more than double by 2050.
- By 2019, the Hispanic population aged 65 and older is projected to be the largest racial/ethnic minority in this age group.
Older adults are a resource for their families:
- Older adults are increasingly serving as unpaid caregivers for family members.
- More than one-third of the approximately 65 million Americans who are providing care for aging parents or a disabled family member are between the ages of 50 and 64.
- 2.6 million grandparents are responsible for raising their grandchildren.
Older adults are a resource for their communities:
- Older Americans are more educated than ever. Almost 83 percent of older adults have completed high school or higher education.
- The majority of older Americans are in good health. Nearly three-quarters of adults age 65-74 report being in good health, with 25 percent of those 65+ reporting they are in very good or excellent health.
Older adults care about their communities and their country:
- Older adults make valuable contributions by volunteering. About one out of four adults age 55+ volunteers in their community.
- Americans are staying in the workforce longer. In 2016, more than 18 percent of people 65+ were still in the labor force.
- Older adults vote. 71 percent of citizens 65 and older reported casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election.
Yet some older adults need help:
- Nearly 9 percent of older adults live in poverty.
- 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease; 77 percent have at least two. Chronic diseases account for 75 percent of our nation’s health care costs, and 95 percent of health care costs for older adults.
- One in 10 older adults who live at home are subject to elder abuse, including physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
You can be the help older adults need, and also tap them as a remarkable resource to help accomplish your philanthropic goals.