Aging and Special Needs Statistics


  • Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and over increased from 38.8 million in 2008 to 52.4 million in 2018 (a 35% increase) and is projected to reach 94.7 million in 2060. (Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans: 2019)

  • The 85 and over population is projected to more than double from 6.5 million in 2018 to 14.4 million in 2040 (a 123% increase). (Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans: 2019)

Health Status

  • In 2018, 45% of noninstitutionalized people age 65 and older assessed their health as excellent or very good compared to 65% for persons ages 18-64 years. Leading chronic conditions among adults age 65 and older include heart disease (28% in 2016-2017), physician-diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes (28% in 2013-2016), cancer (19% in 2016-2017), stroke (9% in 2016-2017), and arthritis (54% in 2018 among people age 75 and older). In 2013-2016, 67% of men age 75 and older and 79% of women age 75 and older had hypertension or were taking antihypertensive medication. (Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans: 2019)

  • In 2018, 8.5 million people age 65 and older stayed in a hospital overnight at least one night during the year. Among this group of older adults, 11% stayed overnight 1 time, 3% stayed overnight 2 times, and 3% stayed overnight 3 or more times. This was approximately double the number of overnight hospital stays for the population ages 45 to 64: 5% had stayed overnight 1 time, 2% stayed overnight 2 times, and 1% stayed overnight 3 or more times. Older persons averaged more office visits with doctors than younger persons in 2018. Among people age 75 and older, 22% had 10 or more visits to a doctor or other health care professional in the past 12 months compared to 19% among people ages 65 to 74, 14% among people ages 45 to 64, and 11% among people ages 18 to 44. (Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans: 2019)

Health Care

  • In 2018, 97% of persons age 75 and older reported that they had a usual place to go for medical care and only 3% of people age 65 and older said that they failed to obtain needed medical care during the previous 12 months due to cost. (Administration for Community Living, A Profile of Older Americans 2019)

  • In 2018, consumers age 65 and older averaged out-of-pocket health care expenditures of $6,802, an increase of 48% since 2008 ($4,605). In contrast, the total population spent considerably less, averaging $4,968 in out-of-pocket costs. Older Americans spent 11.9% of their total expenditures on health, as compared to 8.1% among all consumers. Health costs incurred on average by older consumers in 2018 consisted of $4,776 (70%) for insurance, 3 $998 (15%) for medical services, $768 (11%) for drugs, and $260 (4%) for medical supplies. (Administration for Community Living, A Profile of Older Americans 2019)

Other Social/Demographic Trends

  • In 2018, nearly 1 in 10 older adults (9.7%, or 5,146,000) lived below the poverty level. This poverty rate is not statistically different from the poverty rate among older adults in 2017 (9.2%). (Administration for Community Living: A Profile of Older Americans 2019)

  • In 2019, 10.7 million (20.2%) Americans age 65 and older were in the labor force (working or actively seeking work). Older adults constituted 6.5% of the U.S. labor force. Approximately 3% were unemployed. (Administration for Community Living: A Profile of Older Americans 2019)

Alzheimer's Disease

  • In 2019, Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the nation $305 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion. (Alzheimer's Association - Latest Facts & Figures)

  • More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias. (Alzheimer's Association - Latest Facts & Figures)

  • These caregivers provide an estimated 18.6 billion hours valued at nearly $244 billion. (Alzheimer's Association - Latest Facts & Figures)

  • Approximately one quarter of dementia caregivers are "sandwich generation" caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18. (Alzheimer's Association - Latest Facts & Figures)


  • CDC estimates that about 1 in 54 children has been identified with ASD (or 16.8 per 1,000 8-year-olds). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Autism Spectrum Disorder)

  • In January 2019, CDC launched a 5th phase of funding for the ADDM Network (for tracking year 2018). However, ADDM Network sites previously funded in January 2015 continue work on tracking year 2016. These data will be published in 2020. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Disability Statistics

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire. (Council for Disability Awareness)

  • At least 51 million working adults in the United States are without disability insurance other than the basic coverage available through Social Security. (Council for Disability Awareness)

  • The average SSDI benefit as of January 2018 was $1,197 a month. That equates to $14,364 annually — barely above the poverty guideline of $12,140 for a one-person household, and below the guideline of $16,640 for a two-person household. (Council for Disability Awareness)

Contact Us

Public Relations, Media, and Advertising Inquiries
Nancy Sween
Senior Director of Communications and Publications
703-942-5711 #225

To arrange an interview with an Elder or Special Needs Law attorney, contact:

Abby Matienzo
Communications Manager
703-952-5711 #230