Happy National Senior Citizen's Day
By Emily Hutto
On August 19th, 1988 President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5847 to make August 21st National Senior Citizen's Day.
The proclamation says, "With improved health care and more years of productivity, older citizens are reinforcing their historical roles as leaders and as links with our patrimony and sense of purpose as individuals and as a Nation. Many older people are embarking on second careers, giving younger Americans a fine example of responsibility, resourcefulness, competence, and determination. And more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society. Wherever the need exists, older people are making their presence felt -- for their own good and that of others."
Now 24 years later, senior citizens are much more active, and there are more of them than ever before. These statistics from the Administration of Aging (AoA) demonstrate just how significant the senior citizen demographic is.
- The population of people age 65 or older in 2000 was 35 million. In 2010, that number climbed to 40 million.
- More than one in every eight Americans is a senior citizen.
- The number of Americans aged 45-64 (who will reach 65 over the next 20 years) increased by 31 percent during this decade.
- 47 percent of female senior citizens who are 75 or older live alone.
- About 485,000 grandparents aged 65 or more have the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.
- The median income of older persons in 2010 was $25,704 for males and $15,072 for females.
- Almost 3.5 million elderly persons (about 9 percent) were below the poverty level in 2010.
- The population of persons 85 and older is projected to increase by more than 1 million by 2020. That's about a 19 percent increase.
- The population of persons 65 and older is projected to increase by 15 million by 2020. That's about a 36 percent increase.
The list goes on and on, and the reasons to consider senior citizens and how they affect your life and practice is endless. Consider today why seniors are so important to our culture, and keep thinking about that for the rest of the year.