Demographic Data

The population of New York City is rapidly growing. The older population 60 plus has been growing faster than both the City’s total population and population under 60. Along with this demographic shift, the median age of the City’s population rose to 35.5 years old in 2010 from 34.2 in 2000. In 2010, the elderly population 60 years and older living in New York City numbered 1,407,635, representing 17.2% of the City’s population. Approximately 30% of persons 60 and over are between ages 60 and 64, one-in-three are 75 and over, and one-in-ten are 85 and over.


In 2010, all of the five boroughs experienced increases in the number of older people. The largest percentage gain was experienced in Staten Island (26.2%), followed in order by Manhattan (19.7%) which gained the largest absolute number of persons (49,264), and by the Bronx (14.7%). Brooklyn and Queens grew at a rate of 8.9% and 7.5%, respectively, lower than the City’s average level (12.4%), but they remained the boroughs with the largest numbers of elderly residents.


The City’s elderly population continues getting older, which those 85 and over growing rapidly at 16.2%. Moreover, there has been a dramatic increase among the young elderly ages 60 to 64 (31.9%), and this trend will continue in the years ahead as baby-boomers age.


The growth in very old New Yorkers result in demand for services for long-term care. This is especially true for expansion of social and health care services to the homebound, who are disabled, frail, and have chronic diseases.


The dramatic increases of the young elderly has an important impact on service models and utilization, challenging the City’s policymakers, families, and service providers to meet the needs of aging individuals who have different lifestyles and will likely present different needs from those of older generations.


The gender gap narrowing among seniors has implications for family structure, living arrangement, and caretaking in old age. Moreover, it shows a change in the social dynamics in which longevity, widowhood and health care for seniors often have been seen as issues more important to women.