Attachment D - Demographic Information on Older Individuals

Population Served

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 3.8 million people in Texas age 60 and older; they made up approximately 15 percent of the total Texas population of 25 million. This group is one of the fastest -growing populations in Texas, and is expected to more than triple between 2010 and 2050. By 2050,§ this group is expected to grow to 12 million (Figure 1).§

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Figure 1 - Total Texas Population Age 60+

  • 2010 -- 3.8 million
  • 2020 - 5.7 million
  • 2030 - 7.7 million
  • 2040 - 9.7 million
  • 2050 - 12 million

Source: US Census 2010 and Texas State Data Center, University of Texas at San Antonio. Population projections based on the 1.0 scenario.

By 2050, Texans age 60 and older will comprise 22 percent of the total Texas population (Figure 2). As the older adult population increases, Texas will need more health and human services and community engagement activities.

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Figure 2 - Texans Age 60+ as Percent of Total Population Years 2010-2050

  • 2010 - Age 0-59: 85 percent; Age 60+ 15 percent
  • 2020 - Age 0-59: 81 percent; Age 60+ 19 percent
  • 2030 - Age 0-59: 79 percent; Age 60+ 21 percent
  • 2040 - Age 0-59: 79 percent; Age 60+ 21 percent
  • 2010 - Age 0-59: 78 percent; Age 60+ 22 percent

Source: US Census 2010 and Texas State Data Center, University of Texas at San Antonio. Population projections based on the 1.0 scenario.

Planning for Growth

AAAs must take into account population growth as they plan for services. The table below shows the projected population change for people age 60 and older from 2012 through 2017 by AAA (Table 1).


Table 1. Expected Growth by AAA Regions (2012-2017)
AAA Region Growth of Population 60+: for 2012-2017
Alamo 28.5%
Ark-Tex 12.0%
Bexar 20.4%
Brazos Valley 21.6%
Capital 31.8%
Central Texas 22.3%
Coastal Bend 17.5%
Concho Valley 14.3%
Dallas 15.9%
Deep East Texas 16.8%
East Texas 16.5%
Golden Crescent 14.3%
Harris 23.6%
Heart of Texas 15.4%
Houston-Galveston 35.2%
Lower Rio Grande 22.9%
Middle Rio Grande 15.1%
North Central Texas 36.3%
North Texas 12.4%
Panhandle 17.1%
Permian Basin 20.7%
Rio Grande 20.3%
South East Texas 14.1%
South Plains 15.4%
South Texas 21.5%
Tarrant 21.7%
Texoma 17.5%
West Central Texas 12.1%

Race and Ethnicity

Overall, minorities make up 34 percent of Texans age 60 and older. The number of older Texans who are Hispanic or of “other” ethnicities is expected to increase much more rapidly than the number of older Texans who are Caucasian or African-American. Between 2014 and 2050, the older Hispanic population in Texas is expected to increase fivefold, while the population of older individuals of “other” ethnicities, including Asians, is expected to increase sevenfold. By 2050, Caucasians will no longer represent the majority of the older adult population in Texas (see Figure 3).§

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Figure 3 - Comparison of Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of Texas aged 60+ (2014 and 2050)

  • 2014 - Anglo 63 percent; Black 9 percent; Hispanic 23 percent; Other 4 percent
  • 2050 - Angl0 34 percent; Black 11 percent; Hispanic 44 percent; Other 12 percent

Source: US Census 2010 and Texas State Data Center, University of Texas at San Antonio. Population projections based on the 1.0 scenario.

Limited English Proficiency

Twenty-five percent of Texans age 60 and older speak a language other than English at home; 14 percent speak English less than “very well.” With the expected growth of minority populations, demand for community services for non-native speakers will continue to rise. The greatest demand will be for Spanish, but the demand for Asian languages may also increase.

Metropolitan, Rural and Frontier

The great majority of older Texans live in one of the 25 metropolitan areas in Texas. The 77 metro area counties contain 83 percent of the population age 60 and older. The remaining 17 percent of the older adult population lives in 177 rural counties. Sixty-eight rural counties have a population density of less than seven people per square mile; less than 1 percent of Texans age 60 and older live in these frontier counties.§

Individuals with disabilities

According to the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey, 35 percent of Texans age 60 and older (1.3 million) have one or more disabilities. Detailed information about disability for this segment of the population is not available, but data on disability among Texas age 65 and older and age 75 and older is available. This data shows the scope of disability and its relationship to age, gender, and race/ethnicity.§

Figure 4 below shows the overall prevalence of disability among Texans age 65 and older.§

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Figure 4 - Texans Aged 65 and Over by Disability Status

  • No disability, 59 percent
  • With two or more types of disability, 24 percent
  • With one type of disability, 17 percent

Source: American Community Survey, 2008-2012, Table 18108

Disability becomes more common with increasing age.§ Among Texans aged age 75 and older, a majority have some type of disability (see Table 2 below).


Table 2: Disability by Age, Gender and Type
Source: American Community Survey, 2008-2012, Table 18101
Sex and Age Any Disability Hearing Vision Cognitive Ambulatory Self-Care Independent Living
Male 65 - 74 years 30.7% 15.5% 5.9% 6.5% 16.8% 5.3% 8.1%
Female 65 - 74 years 29.2% 6.9% 5.9% 6.6% 21.7% 6.7% 11.6%
Male 75 years + 52.8% 30.6% 11.5% 14.6% 31.8% 13.0% 22.0%
Female 75 years + 56.7% 20.9% 13.0% 18.5% 42.4% 19.4% 34.5%

[Hearing and vision disabilities indicate difficulty even when using glasses or hearing aids. Cognitive disability indicates difficulty making decisions or thinking, whether due to mental illness, intellectual disability, dementia or other cause. Ambulatory, the most common type of disability, indicates serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs. Self-care indicates difficulty with activities such as bathing and dressing, and may indicate a need for long-term services and supports. Independent living indicates difficulty in leaving the home for shopping, medical appointments, church and similar activities.]

Certain population groups are more likely to experience disability than others:

  • Disability is more common among women than among men age 75 and older.§ This may reflect the fact that many more women than men live to be this age.
  • Among people age 65 and older with incomes below the poverty level, 54 percent have a disability, compared to 39 percent of those with incomes above the poverty level.§
  • Disability is more common among Hispanics and African-Americans, and is least common among those of “other” ethnicities (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5 - Disability Age 65 and Over by Race/Ethnicity

  • Total 41 percent
  • Anglo 38 percent
  • Black 48 percent
  • Hispanic 48 percent
  • Other 34 percent

Source: American Community Survey, 2008-2012, Table 18101

Other Major Demographic Characteristics

(Data from American Community Survey 2008-12):

  • Among Texans age 60 and older, 59 percent are married, 22 percent are widowed, 15 percent are divorced or separated, and 4 percent never married.

  • While most older Texans live in family households, 22 percent live alone.

  • Eleven percent have incomes below the poverty level, and another 11 percent have incomes within 150 percent of the poverty level.§

  • Educational status is almost equally divided, with 22-27 percent each having less than high school, high school, some college, or a bachelor’s degree.

  • While 71 percent are not working or seeking work, 29 percent are in the labor force.

Growth of the 85+ Population

In Texas, the growth of the aging population and increased longevity will mean a marked increase in the number of people age 85 and older. In 2010, the population age 85 and older was 305,000; by 2050, it is expected to increase to 1.6 million, an increase of greater than 500 percent. This segment of the population will increase from 1.2 percent to 2.8 percent of the total population (see Figure 6).

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Figure 6 - Total Number of Texans Age 85+

  • 2010 - 0.3 million
  • 2020 - 0.4 million
  • 2030 - 0.6 million
  • 2040 - 1 million
  • 2050 - 1.6 million

Source: US Census 2010 and Texas State Data Center, University of Texas at San Antonio.§ Population projections based on the 1.0 scenario.

Rates of disability and serious chronic illness tend to increase with age. This rapid increase in the number of the oldest people is likely to increase the need for long-term services and supports.

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Updated: April 29, 2015