Ever since President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the first Senior Citizens Month in May 1963, the nation has set aside time every May to pay tribute to its older residents. In observance of the 2008 Older Americans Month (President Jimmy Carter's 1980 proclamation changed the name), the U.S. Census Bureau provides the following fun facts:
37.3 million: Number of people 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2006 (12 percent of the total population).
86.7 million: Projected population of people 65 and older in 2050 (21 percent of the population).
5.3 million: Number of people 85 and older in the United States on July 1, 2006.
84,331: Estimated number of centenarians in the United States on Nov. 1, 2007.
580,605: Projected number of centenarians in 2040.
72: Number of men 65 and older on July 1, 2006, for every 100 women in this age group (for those 85 and older, it drops to 47 men per 100 women).
$27,798: Median 2006 income of households with householders 65 and older, up 3.4 percent from the previous year.
9.4%: Poverty rate for people 65 and older in 2006, down from 10.1 percent in 2005.
5.5 million: Number of people 65 and older who were in the labor force in 2006. By 2016, the number is projected to reach 10.1 million.
23% Percentage of people 65 to 74 in the labor force in 2006, up from 20 percent in 2000.
76% Percentage of people 65 and older in 2007 with at least a high school diploma.
19% Percentage of the population 65 and older in 2007 who had earned a bachelor's degree or higher.
7.3 million: Number of people 66 and older taking adult education courses.
53%: Percentage of people 65 and older who were married in 2006.
32%: Percentage of those 65 and older who were widowed.
64%: Percentage of people 65 and older in 2006 who lived with relatives. Another 27 percent lived alone, 5 percent lived in group quarters, and 2 percent were in a household with non-relatives.
1.6 million: Number of people 65 and older who lived in nursing facilities in 2006.
79% Percentage of citizens 65 and older registered to vote in the 2004 presidential election (71 percent of them reported actually casting a ballot).
19%: Percentage of votes in the 2004 presidential election votes that were cast by people 65 and older.
81%: Percentage of householders 65 and older in 2006 who owned their homes.
11%: Percentage of the nation's business owners who are 65 and older.
75%: Percentage of households with a householder 65 and older who owns a motor vehicle.