Fewer older Americans living in nursing homesNews added by Benefits Pro on July 1, 2014
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By Chuck Epstein

The number of Americans 65 and older living in a nursing home fell 20 percent between 2000 and 2010, from 1.6 million to 1.3 million.

That’s just one of a host of statistics available in a new, comprehensive Census Bureau report of the U.S. population of those 65 and older.

The report dives into topics such as socio-economic characteristics, ethnicity, size and growth, geographic distribution, longevity and health.

It starts by noting there were 40.3 million Americans older than 65 in 2010, or 12 times the number in 1900.

Echoing other, similar research, it also found that more Americans are working longer and postponing retirement. “In the United States, older men and women are increasingly participating in the labor force,” said Enrique Lamas, the Census Bureau’s associate director for demographic programs.

Other highlights in the report:
  • Housing costs were slightly less of a burden in 2009 compared with 2001 for older householders.

  • While the 2010 unemployment rates for people aged 55 and over were lower than for their younger counterparts, the older group still experienced a doubling of unemployment rates compared to just prior to the 2007–2009 recession.

  • Eleven states had more than 1 million people aged 65 and older in 2010.

  • Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania had the highest proportions (15 percent) of older residents in 2010.

  • Following the housing price peak in 2006, home ownership rates among younger people declined, but remained flat for older homeowners.

  • The number of Americans older than 65 came to 4.1 percent in 1900 and rose to 13 percent in 2010. This group is projected to reach 20.9 percent by 2050.

  • By 2030, when all baby boomers will have already passed age 65, the “older dependency ratio” is expected to be 37, which translates into fewer than three people of working age (20 to 64) to support each older person.

  • Medicaid funds for long-term care have been shifting away from nursing homes to assisted living facilities. This change has gone from 13 percent of total funding in 1990 to 43 percent in 2007.

  • In 2010, Alzheimer’s disease was the fifth leading cause of death among older people, up from seventh in 2000.

  • Over 38 percent of those aged 65 and over had one or more disabilities in 2010, with the most common difficulties being walking, climbing stairs, and doing errands alone.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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