Most older people are healthier, wealthier, and better educated than previous generations, but these gains have not been equal among today’s older Americans.
In 2003, there were almost 36 million people age 65 and over living in the United States, accounting for just over 12 percent of the total population. Most of these older Americans reported better health, greater wealth, and higher levels of education than older people in the past. However, some groups of older Americans are disproportionately disadvantaged including those with limited education, women, and minorities. These findings are presented in Older Americans 2004: Key Indicators of Well-Being, the second comprehensive analysis of the lives of older Americans compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (Forum).
The Forum, established in 1986, is a consortium of 12 Federal departments and agencies that collect or use national data on older Americans, including population trends, health status, economic prosperity, and use of health care services. The goal of the Forum is to improve the quality and usefulness of data on aging. "Older Americans 2004 provides a comprehensive picture of one of the fastest growing segments of our society," says Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, U.S. Office of Management and Budget. "The report is an invaluable resource that provides a wealth of data from diverse sources across the Federal Government."
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