U.S. - seniors as a percentage of the population 1950-2050

In 2017, about 16 percent of the American population was 65 years old or over; a figure which is expected to reach 22 percent by 2050. This is a significant increase from 1950, when only eight percent of the population was 65 or over.

A rapidly aging population

In recent years, the aging population of the United States has come into focus as a cause for concern, as the nature of work and retirement is expected to change in order to keep up. If a population is expected to live longer than the generations before, the economy will have to change as well in order to fulfill the needs of the citizens. In addition, the birth rate in the U.S. has been falling over the last 20 years, meaning that there are not as many young people to replace the individuals leaving the workforce.

The future population

It’s not only the American population that is aging -- the global population is, too. By 2020, the median age of the global workforce is expected to be 39 years, up from 33.8 years in 1990. Additionally, it is projected that there will be over three million people worldwide aged 100 years and over by 2050.

Share of old age population (65 years and older) in the total U.S. population from 1950 to 2050

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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period

1950 to 2018

Age group

65 years and older

Supplementary notes

* Projection.

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Statistics on "Pensioners in the U.S."

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