Rural Development Research Report No. (RDRR-90) 33 pp

February 2000

Changes in the Older Population and Implications for Rural Areas

The older population in the United States has been growing and aging rapidly, with the fastest growing segment being the oldest old--those age 85 and older. This segment of the older population increased 37 percent between 1980 and 1990, compared with a 17-percent increase in the total population of elderly (60 and above). The oldest old are more likely to be women, to be in poor health, to live alone, and to be poor. This analysis presents data on changes in the age distribution and socioeconomic status of the older population by rural-urban residence and examines the implications for resources, services, and programs in rural areas.

Keywords: Older population, elderly, oldest old, metro-nonmetro residence, rural-urban, poverty, socioeconomic characteristics

In this publication...