Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Your Health

Turning 90 Not so Uncommon, Census Says

The numbers indicate the population of this age group has increased to 1.9 million. 

Census numbers released Thursday indicate that the population of people who are 90 years old or older have nearly tripled since 1980.

The numbers indicate that the population of this age group has increased to 1.9 million. The oldest-old population, traditionally known as those over 85, is expected to increase to 8.7 million by the middle of the century.

Analysts attribute the increase to better nutrition and advances in medical care for the increased population. Advanced medical care has decreased the heart disease and strokes for the group.

A supporter of the report said the longer life span would become a challenge for those who suffer chronic problems like arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer's.

"A key issue for this population will be whether disability rates can be reduced," said Richard Suzman, director of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute of Aging.

The numbers released are said to be the first-ever Census numbers on the age group. The report was released at the request of the National Institute of Aging to recognize lengthening age spans.

Wan He, the Census Bureau demographer who wrote the report, said longer life spans affects more than the individual.

"Given its rapid growth, the 90-and-older population merits a closer look," He said. "The older people get, the more resources they consume because of health care, and disability rates significantly increase. This creates demands for daily care, and for families the care burden increases dramatically."

The report indicates those who are over 90 have higher numbers of individuals that suffer from a form of impairment than those in their 80s.

It also indicated that women outnumber men 3:1 in that age group. Non-hispanic whites made up the majority of the 90-plus age group.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.