Racialized Disparities Among Older Adults: Our Unfinished Work in the 21st Century john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College of Law AARP’s Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century Conference June 10, 2009 Chicago, IL
The U.S. is a “young” population compared to the rest of the world. Sources: Carl Haub, 2006 World Population Data Sheet ; Quoted from Population Reference Bureau’s graphics bank on aging. This graphic shows the 13 “oldest” countries & the U.S.; nearly all are in Europe. The U.S. actually ranks as the 38th “oldest” country. Percent age 65 or older
As ‘baby boomers’ age, today's number of older adults will double over the next 30 years.
At that point in time:
About 25% of the entire US population will be over 65.
For the first time in U.S. history, there will be more Americans over 65 than under 18.
The average lifespan has increased by 30 years since 1900 (47 77)
By 2050, there could be one million centenarians.
Freedman, Marc. “Making Policy for An Aging Century.” Civic Ventures. http://www.civicventures.org/publications/articles/policy_for_an_aging_century.cfm
An Aging Population 2006 Older American Update. AgingStats.gov
Population Age 65 & Over, by Race & Hispanic Origin: 2004 & 2050 Projection 2006 Older American Update. AgingStats.gov. Data from U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates & Projections, 2004
Life Expectancy at Age 65 Years, by Sex and Race: 2000 - 2006 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5817a7.htm
Median Individual Income in 2007 by Race, Age Purcell, Patrick. “Income and Poverty among Older Americans in 2007. CRS Report for Congress. 3 Oct. 2008. http://aging.senate.gov/crs/pension35.pdf
Median Household Income in 2007 by Demographic Traits of Householder Purcell, Patrick. “Income and Poverty among Older Americans in 2007. CRS Report for Congress. 3 Oct. 2008. http://aging.senate.gov/crs/pension35.pdf
Percentage of Individuals Aged 65 & Older in Poverty in 2007 Purcell, Patrick. “Income and Poverty among Older Americans in 2007. CRS Report for Congress. 3 Oct. 2008. http://aging.senate.gov/crs/pension35.pdf
Older Americans are Moving to the Sunbelt Marshall, Victor. “Aging in an Aging Society.” UNC Institute on Aging (2006), citing the U.S. Census Bureau
Living Arrangements – Men 65 & Over, 2004 2006 Older American Update. AgingStats.gov
Living Arrangements – Women 65 & Over, 2004 2006 Older American Update. AgingStats.gov Women are more likely than men to live alone – a byproduct of their longer life expectancy.
The 55+ housing market is likely to become more racially and ethnically diverse.
Of recent movers to age-qualified active adult communities:
88% are white, non-Hispanic, compared to 83% of recent movers to other 55+ owner-occupied and 74% of recent movers to age-restricted rental communities.
The shares of minorities in the 55+ single-family housing market have been quite stable:
From 2001 – 2005, the shares were around 18%.
In 2007, they increased to 23%.
Female Unemployment by Race, 55+ Not seasonally adjusted Urban Institute Retirement Policy Program. www.retirementpolicy.org
Male Unemployment by Race, 55+ Not seasonally adjusted Urban Institute Retirement Policy Program. www.retirementpolicy.org
White Men (55+) Are Less Likely to be Unemployed than Those of Other Races Johnson, Richard W. and Corina Mommaerts. “Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time High for Adults Age 65 and Older.” March 2009. Urban Institute Retirement Policy Program.www.retirementpolicy.org African American Men (55+) Unemployed: 1 in 10 Hispanic Men (55+) Unemployed: 1 in 11 White Men (55+) Unemployed: 1 in 17
The presence of chronic diseases in adults 65+ varies considerably by race. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Merck Company Foundation. The State of Aging and Health in America 2007. Whitehouse Station, NJ: The Merck Company Foundation; 2007. p. 4. Available at www.cdc.gov/aging and www.merck.com/cr
Age 65 or older, self-assessed health status as ‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ 2002-2004 2006 Older American Update. AgingStats.gov
Health Insurance for Non-Institutionalized Adults 65+ (2007) Percent “ A Profile of Older Americans 2008.” Administration on Aging. http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Aging_Statistics/Profile/2008/15.aspx
The recession has impacted how older adults are situated.
“ The stock market lost 47% of its value between September 30, 2007 and December 2, 2008, destroying $2.8 trillion in 401(k) and individual retirement accounts and intensifying pressures on seniors to work.”
Members of the ‘Threshold Generation’ (Americans ages 50 to 64 who are at or near the peak of their earnings potential and net worth, and who are also at the brink of retirement) have suffered the most from the recession.
“ Adults 65 and older -- most of whom have already retired and downsized their lifestyles -- have escaped its full fury.”
Morin, Rich and Paul Taylor. “Different Age Groups, Different Recessions.” Pew Research Center Report 14 May 2009. and Johnson, Richard W. “How is the Recession Affecting Older Workers?” Urban Institute Fact Sheet.
We need to apply a targeted universalism paradigm to highlight the needs of older adults, and older marginalized adults.
We need to re-think how structures in our society are arranged.
“ Race has been an important factor in building, sustaining, and shifting the social and political structures and organizational arrangements that control the distribution of opportunity and resources across all populations.” Talking About Race Resource Notebook, Kirwan Institute.
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