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A Profile of Older Americans: 2012

Geographic Distribution

The proportion of older persons in the population varies considerably by state with some states experiencing much greater growth in their older populations (Figures 4 and 5). In 2011, over half (51%) of persons 65+ lived in 9 states: California (4.4 million); Florida (3.4 million); New York (2.7 million); Texas (2.7 million); Pennsylvania (2.0 million); and Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina and each had well over 1 million (Figure 6).

Persons 65+ constituted approximately 15% or more of the total population in 11 states in 2011: Florida (17.6%); Maine (16.3%); West Virginia (16.2%); Pennsylvania (15.6%); Montana (15.2%); Arkansas (15%); Delaware (15%); Hawaii (15%); Iowa (15%); Rhode Island (15%); and Vermont (15.0%). In 13 states, the 65+ population increased by 30% or more between 2000 and 2011: Alaska (58%), Nevada (53%), Arizona (37%), Colorado (37%), Georgia (37%), Idaho (37%), South Carolina (35%), Utah (35%), New Mexico (33%), North Carolina (32%), Delaware (31%), Texas (30%), and Washington (30%). The 17 jurisdictions with poverty rates at or over 10% for elderly during 2011 were: Mississippi (13.5%), Louisiana (12.7%), District of Columbia (12.5%), Kentucky (11.8%), New Mexico (11.8%), New York (11.7%), Texas (11.4%), South Dakota (11.1%), Georgia (10.9%), Tennessee (10.7%), Arkansas (10.5%), North Dakota (10.5%), Alabama (10.3%), Rhode Island (10.2%), South Carolina (10.1%), California (10.0%), and Florida (10.0%) (Figure 6):

Most persons 65+ lived in metropolitan areas in 2011 (81%). About 66% of these older persons lived outside principal cities and 34% lived inside principal cities. Also, 19% of older persons lived outside of metropolitan areas.

The elderly are less likely to change residence than other age groups. From 2011 to 2012, only 3% of older persons moved as opposed to 14% of the under 65 population. Most older movers (61%) stayed in the same county and 83% remained in the same state. Only 16% of the movers moved from out-of-state or abroad.

Figure 4 is a state map of the US showing the percent of persons over 65 in the population of each state.  This data may be found in the table Figure 6.

Figure 5 is a US state map showing the percent increase from 2000 to 2011 in the older population of each state.  The data may be found in the table in Figure 6.

State

Number of Persons 65 and Older

Percent of All Ages

Percent Increase from 2000 to 2011

Percent Below Poverty 2011

US Total (50 States + DC)

41,394,141

13.30%

18.03%

8.7%

Alabama

672,586

14.00%

15.86%

10.3%

Alaska

58,213

8.10%

58.11%

6.3%

Arizona

921,835

14.20%

37.30%%

8.5%

Arkansas

429,099

14.60%

14.56%

10.5%

California

4,398,624

11.70%

21.88%

10.0%

Colorado

575,820

11.30%

37.23%

7.8%

Connecticut

515,459

14.40%

9.47%

6.8%

Delaware

133,464

14.70%

30.73%

5.7%

District of Columbia

70,179

11.40%

0.65%

12.5%

Florida

3,360,195

17.60%

19.51%

10.0%

Georgia

1,077,512

11.00%

36.51%

10.9%

Hawaii

202,544

14.70%

25.23%

8.2%

Idaho

202,433

12.80%

37.28%

6.8%

Illinois

1,640,765

12.70%

9.23%

8.2%

Indiana

858,087

13.20%

13.64%

7.2%

Iowa

457,738

14.90%

4.82%

6.9%

Kansas

382,661

13.30%

7.26%

7.2%

Kentucky

591,851

13.50%

17.24%

11.8%

Louisiana

572,440

12.50%

10.87%

12.7%

Maine

216,218

16.30%

17.50%

8.0%

Maryland

729,488

12.50%

21.32%

7.5%

Massachusetts

921,889

14.00%

7.08%

9.3%

Michigan

1,389,155

14.10%

13.59%

8.2%

Minnesota

701,768

13.10%

17.56%

8.0%

Mississippi

388,071

13.00%

13.15%

13.5%

Missouri

854,652

14.20%

13.07%

8.2%

Montana

151,452

15.20%

24.97%

8.1%

Nebraska

250,382

13.60%

7.71%

7.8%

Nevada

339,478

12.50%

53.10%

9.4%

New Hampshire

184,376

14.00%

24.19%

6.2%

New Jersey

1,208,360

13.70%

8.48%

7.8%

New Mexico

282,375

13.60%

32.61%

11.8%

New York

2,664,694

13.70%

8.62%

11.7%

North Carolina

1,278,786

13.20%

31.67%

9.7%

North Dakota

98,595

14.40%

4.45%

10.5%

Ohio

1,648,444

14.30%

9.26%

7.7%

Oklahoma

517,654

13.70%

13.70%

9.5%

Oregon

553,061

14.30%

25.87%

7.4%

Pennsylvania

1,981,565

15.60%

3.31%

8.0%

Rhode Island

154,143

14.70%

1.16%

10.2%

South Carolina

658,561

14.10%

35.34%

10.1%

South Dakota

118,653

14.40%

9.81%

11.1%

Tennessee

879,651

13.70%

24.86%

10.7%

Texas

2,706,029

10.50%

30.21%

11.4%

Utah

259,221

9.20%

35.28%

5.3%

Vermont

94,122

15.00%

20.75%

7.0%

Virginia

1,011,063

12.50%

27.36%

7.5%

Washington

864,873

12.70%

30.15%

8.5%

West Virginia

300,970

16.20%

8.80%

9.4%

Wisconsin

792,620

13.90%

12.49%

7.5%

Wyoming

72,267

12.70%

24.33%

6.2%

Puerto Rico

600,927

15.00%

40.00%

39.0%

(Based on online data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1) Population Estimates and Projections; 2) American Community Survey; 3) Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement; and 4) International Data Base.)

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