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65-and-over by the numbers

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

In honor of Older Americans Month, the U.S. Census Bureau sent out a host of facts and figures about people age 65 and older. Here are six of the most significant for people doing some retirement planning.

  1. We're big and getting bigger. In 2010, there were 40.3 million people in the U.S. who were 65 and older, about 13 percent of the total population. By 2050, as boomers age, that number will have climbed to 88.5 million and 20 percent of the population.
  2. Politicians, don't mess with boomers and old people. Seventy percent of people 65 and older and 69 percent of people 45 to 64 voted in the 2008 presidential election.
  3. We ladies have to stick together. Among people 65 and older, there are 90.5 men for every 100 women. Among those 85 and older, there are 58.3 men for every 100 women.
  4. Florida is the senior-citizen capital. More than 17 percent of Florida's population are older than 65, followed by 16 percent of the population of West Virginia, 15.9 percent of Maine, 15.4 percent of Pennsylvania and 14.9 percent of Iowa. The county nationwide with the highest percentage of residents older than 65 is Sumter County, Fla. (50 miles west of Orlando) with 43.4 percent.
  5. We're aging fast. The fastest-growing age group in the U.S. is people ages 85 to 94, increasing in the last decade from 3.9 million to 5.1 million. The census projects that by 2050, there will be 601,000 people older than 100 in the U.S.
  6. But we're not ready for retirement yet. 6.7 million people 65 and older were still in the work force in 2010. The census says that by 2018, the number will reach 11.1 million. About 57 percent of those people work full time and 42 percent are in managerial or professional positions
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