Did you know:
That the states with the highest proportion of old people in their populations in 2010 were Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania (all above 15 percent)? States with the lowest proportion of elders were Alaska, Utah and Texas?
That the population aged 65 and older was the only age group to see an increase in voter participation in the 2012 presidential election compared with the 2008 presidential election?
That if you were 65 years old in 2010, your life expectancy then was 17.7 years if your are a man and 20.3 years if you are a woman? For the rest of you who are older, here a chart.
Those facts are from a report issued this month by the U.S. Census Bureau about health, economic situation and social characteristics, among other data, of the 40.3 million Americans who were 65 and older in 2010, along with the same historical statistics from the year 2000 and projections to 2050.
Here are a few facts to pique your interest.
Death rates declined for the 65-plus populations (other age groups too) between 2000 and 2010 but it was the same old, same old diseases – heart disease and cancer being the top two – that carried elders away.
This one isn't going to remove any fears most of us have about dementia. Here's a chart from the study showing the percentage of the 65-plus population with cognitive impairment:
The median income for married couples and individuals aged 65 or older was $25,757 in 2010. It drops dramatically from a median of $37,200 in the 65-69 age group to $19,457 for those 80 and older.Social Security leads the way in sources of income followed by earnings, pensions and asset income.
Social Security plays very different roles in the lives of people in the lowest and highest income quintiles. It provides an average of 84.3 percent of income for the lowest quintile and only 17.3 percent for the highest quintile. (See page 86)
The number of veterans in the 65-plus cohort surprised me – a total of just under 42 percent which tells you how many more of the population served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam than more recent wars.
This doesn't scratch the surface of the information you can find in the full 65+ in the United States: 2010 study. I got hooked for two hours.
Don't let the total of 192 pages put you off. Most of it is charts, tables and citations and unlike many such reports, the writing is easy to understand, written with non-statisticians in mind.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Diane Davis: Casinos: The New Senior Centers