Publication Details

Virginia’s Diverse and Growing Older Population

Author:

Qian Cai

Date Published:

April 16, 2009 - 8pm

Publication Type:

Periodical

Publication Series:

The Virginia News Letter

Virginia's aging population is going to present many challenges because of a diversity of  health and economic needs. But an increase in the elderly can also offer great potential for improving community life.

Key facts:
--By 2030, the number of Virginians ages 65 and older will double from 900,000 now to 1.8 million and in percentage of the population from 12 to 19 percent.
--The senior population will have vastly different levels of needs, abilities and resources. The oldest seniors are more likely to live in poverty, to be less well educated and to have more health problems.
--Elderly women significantly outnumber elderly men. Among those 85 and older, the ratio is more than two to one. Women are more likely to be widowed and to live alone and in poverty.
--As the baby boom generation ages, the gap between male and female life expectancy is expected to narrow as a result of health advances. Women of that generation are also better educated than in the past and will be less likely to live in poverty.
-- Some 70 percent of Virginia's seniors today live in metro areas, especially Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond. But the localities with the highest proportion of seniors tend to be rural localities, as young people have left or retirees moved in.