What Percentage of the US Population is Over 60: Silver-Haired Seniors on the Rise!

As medicine has improved and life expectancy has expanded, the number of seniors in the United States has continued to increase. In this article, we will delve into the percentage of the US population over the age of 60, including factors that have led to the rise of silver-haired seniors, and what it all means for the future of this aging population.

The Current Population of Seniors in the US

The United States Census Bureau reports that as of 2020, there are approximately 73.1 million people in the country who are age 60 or older. That equates to roughly 22 percent of the total population. In fact, this is the highest percentage of seniors since the Census Bureau started tracking this statistic more than a century ago.

Reasons for the Increase Among Seniors

Medical Advancements

One of the primary causes of the increase in seniors is medical advancement. With every passing year, medical technology continues to improve, and this allows us to live longer and healthier lives. Procedures such as joint replacements, cataract surgeries, and a variety of medication options have contributed to increasing life expectancies across the globe.

Population Growth

Population growth is another contributing factor to the increased number of seniors in the US. It’s a simple matter of more people being born in previous decades, with those people now becoming older adults.

Improvement in Living Standards

The overall improvement in living conditions is an essential factor that has led to the aging of the population. As standards of living have grown, particularly for those who can afford it, people have had less stress in their daily lives, which translates to better health and longevity.

Challenges Faced By Senior Citizens

As the population of seniors in the United States continues to rise, so do the challenges they face. Some of the most significant challenges include:

Health Decline

  • Physical and cognitive impairment of older adults
  • Chronic and progressive conditions like arthritis, diabetes and heart disease
  • Mental issues like depression, dementia, and anxiety

Financial Concerns

  • Insufficient retirement savings
  • Inability to keep up with living costs and medical expenses

Loneliness and Isolation

Social isolation and loneliness are prevalent among senior citizens in the United States, particularly for those who live alone or in nursing homes. This can contribute to additional health problems, including depression and anxiety.

The Benefits of an Aging Population

Increase in Volunteerism and Philanthropy

An aging population can bring benefits to areas of society, such as volunteerism and philanthropy. As retirement approaches, seniors can have more time to dedicate to charitable causes and will have more experience, wisdom, and resources to contribute.

Increased Demand for Elder Care Services

The aging population will bring about an increase in demand for eldercare services, such as nursing homes, hospice care, and assisted living facilities. This may also translate into a rise in employment opportunities in these sectors.

The Future of an Aging Population

In conclusion, the percentage of the US population over 60 is on the rise and it continues to be an important demographic. We need to start to think about how we can plan and come up with ideas to address issues that the aging population is facing. This should include solutions like ensuring that seniors have access to medical care and that they are not subject to hefty medical bills without coverage. Additional support, both financially and socially, is essential to ensure that senior citizens will be able to lead the highest possible quality of life.

FAQs about Aging Population in the US

  • What percentage of the US population is over 60?
  • Approximately 22 percent of the total US population is over the age of 60, according to data from the US Census Bureau. This figure is projected to rise steadily in the coming years.

  • What are the primary reasons behind the growth of the US aging population?
  • The increase in the aging population is due to several factors, including medical advancements, population growth, and improvements in living standards. These factors have led to increased life expectancies, contributing to a rising number of seniors.

  • What are some of the challenges that senior citizens face?
  • Some of the significant challenges faced by seniors in the US include physical and cognitive health decline, financial concerns due to insufficient retirement savings, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

  • What are the benefits of an aging population?
  • An aging population can bring benefits to society, such as increased philanthropy and volunteerism, as well as increased demand for certain services such as healthcare for seniors.

  • What does the future hold for an aging population?
  • As the percentage of the US population over the age of 60 continues to increase, solutions like access to medical care and social support will continue to be critical.


  • Administration on Aging. “Aging Statistics”. AoA Administration for Community Living, 2019.
  • U.S. Census Bureau. “Aging”. United States Census Bureau, 2020.
  • U.S. Census Bureau. “American Community Survey Briefs”. United States Census Bureau, 2014.

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