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State of the 50+ in NYC 2014

This report is based on multiple data sources and examines demographics, published statistics and opinion polls to provide an overall picture of New York City’s population aged 50 and older.  We present evidence of the power of 50+ voters and information related to the needs of NYC’s older population on the dimensions of home, work, economic security, healthcare and age-friendly living.

The big backdrop to this story is the significant demographic shift toward an aging population that is in our midst - globally, nationally and also in New York City. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), life expectancy in the U.S. increased by 8 years from 1970 to 2011 when it reached 78.7 years.  All across the U.S., the combination of increased life expectancy and an aging baby boom generation is driving a very fast growing 65+ population. Over the next two decades, the share of people living in New York City who are aged 65 and over will climb from 13% to 18%.  This population shift is bringing with it opportunities and challenges of a “longevity society” that will impact the economy, public policy, our communities, families and individuals.  

Some issues of importance for older New Yorkers highlighted in this report are not so new – for example, family caregiving and retirement security - but they are newly reaching critical mass such that they require attention from policy makers and legislators. Other dynamics affecting this population are relatively more contemporary such as workforce changes; identity theft and fraud threats to economic security; and a shift in family and household compositions from predominantly married couples toward more single and multigenerational households; as well as growing multicultural representation.   

It is our hope that the data and findings here will be useful for NYC policy makers, community based organizations and elected officials to strengthen the City as a place for its 50+ residents to live and thrive in a longevity society.

For more information, contact Angela Houghton at ahoughton@aarp.org.

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