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Seniors

Description: 

These data come from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS).

Data Source: 

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey (ACS) Data:
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS

Data Quality Comments: 

While formally established in 2005, ACS data is available going back to 2000. Unlike the decennial census, which collects data nationwide and doesn't not rely on a limited sample size, the ACS does a small sample to collect data. Therefore, while valuable because it provides annual information on housing, population, and income of residents, users need to be aware of the limitations due to size of the original sample.

iconTotal Number of Seniors (65+) in the Labor Force in Arizona

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Visualization Notes:

Arizona seniors are working longer. There has been an increase in the number of Arizona seniors 65+ in the labor force.  As Arizonans age, more opt to stay in the workforce, either out of financial necessity or as a result of a desire to work beyond what was traditionally thought of as retirement age. This trend is mirrored nationally as 93% of the growth in the U.S. labor force from 2006 to 2016 will be among workers ages 55 and older. Since the economic downturn, boomers have pointed to several factors that have kept them in the labor force including investments that evaporated in the economic downturn, failure to save for retirement like their parents did, and living beyond their means for too long. Other surveys find that those who are prolonging work choose to do so because of job satisfaction. Furthermore, sudies have shown that employment and meaningful activity increase longevity.

iconPercent Change in Senior (65+) Population in Arizona

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Visualization Notes:

This chart shows the 85+ population growing more rapidly than all older adults over the age of 65. In addition, there was an anomalous jump of 39% between 2005-2006 for the 85+ population. In 2030, when all of the baby boomers will be at least 65, nearly one in five U.S. residents is expected to be 65 and older. This age group is projected to increase to 88.5 million by 2050, more than doubling in number. Arizona reflects this trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2007, La Paz County was the oldest county in the nation with 32% of its residents being 65 years of age and older.

Arizona's 65+ population is growing more than most other states. It is ranked #3 nationally for largest projected percentage increase in the 65+ population between 2000-2030 at a 255% growth. Similarly, the 85 and older population is expected to more than triple, from 5.4 million to 19 million between 2008 and 2050. The centenarian number is also expected to skyrocket, quadrupling by 2030 and reaching 1.15 million by 2050. A dependency ratio is an age/population formula of those typically not in the labor force (65 and older and those less than 16) and those typically in the labor force (ages 16-64). As the dependency ratio increases, it poses a threat to the sustainability of programs like Social Security, because as less people work there is less money paid into the system. Dependency ratios will be greater than the U.S. between 2010 and 2030 as projections are 64.8% in 2010 and 86.8% in 2030 compared to the U.S. ratios of 59% and 76.1%. In 2007, Arizona was ranked #2 in the country and by 2030, it is projected to be the 5th highest dependency state, which is a great cause for concern.

iconTotal Senior (65+) Population in Arizona by Race

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Visualization Notes:

Arizona seniors are still mostly Caucasian, but all races are experiencing dramatic percentage increases in the 65+ population. From 2006-2007 Maricopa County showed the largest numeric increases in the country in Asian/Pacific Islanders, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and Hispanic/Latino populations. In 2010-2050 there are expected to be large percentage increases in all 60+ populations with projects of the following: Whites 74%, Blacks 270%, Hispanics 593%, Amer Ind/AS Native 188%, and Asian/PacIsl 367%. The largest growth by far will be posted by the Hispanic population detailed in a separate section.

iconPercentage of Seniors (65+) Living Below Federal Poverty Level in the Last 12 Months

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Visualization Notes:

Both statewide and nationally, the number of persons 65+ and the percentage of the 65+ population experiencing poverty has increased. However, Arizona has a lower rate of seniors living below poverty than the U.S. This may be due to the large population of affluent seniors who relocate to Arizona to spend their retirement years.

iconNumber of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Under 18 Years, Arizona

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Visualization Notes:

As these graphs indicate, grandparents as caregivers are on the rise. As the composition of Arizona families continues to change, more grandparents are becoming the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. Grandparents raising grandchildren are defined as those who have assumed full care of their grandchildren on a temporary or permanent live-in basis. There are many reasons why a child is placed with their grandparents.  Some reasons for parental absence include substance abuse, incarceration, child abuse and neglect, psychiatric disorders, and homicide or death. Grandparents raising grandchildren confront caregiving issues with school systems, health care, emotional issues the child may experience, legal issues, financial concerns, and complicated family relationships. For grandparents that are 65 years and older, issues are compounded as they also deal with their own issues related to aging.   

iconPercent of Population with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher

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Visualization Notes:

The educational attainment gap between the 25+ population and the 65+ population is beginning to close. Since 2000, the number of Arizonans 65+ with a bachelor's degree or higher has increased at the same time as the number of Arizonans 25+ with a bachelor's degree or higher as leveled off. Compared to the national percentage of people 65+ with a bachelor's degree, Arizona seniors are faring better educationally. There may be a correlation between this finding and the lower rate of poverty among Arizona seniors compared to the national average. Educational attainment numbers for person 65+ are expected to increase starting in 2010 as the baby boomers reach the age of 65.