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Persons 65 Years Old and Over—Characteristics by Sex,
1990–2009

The following table includes characteristics of persons age 65 years and over in the U.S. population, including sex, marital status, years of school completed, and labor force participation.

Characteristic Total Male Female
1990 2000 2005 2006 2009 1990 2000 2005 2006 2009 1990 2000 2005 2006 2009
Total1 (million) 29.6 32.6 35.2 35.5 37.8 12.3 13.9 15.1 15.2 16.3 17.2 18.7 20.0 20.3 21.5
Percent distribution
Marital status:                              
Single 4.6% 3.9% 4.1% 3.6% 4.2% 4.2% 4.2% 4.4% 3.8% 4.4% 4.9% 3.6% 3.9% 3.6% 4.0%
Married 56.1 57.2 57.7 57.8 57.2 76.5 75.2 74.9 75.0 74.4 41.4 43.8 44.7 44.9 44.1
 Spouse present 54.1 54.6 54.8 54.7 54.8 74.2 72.6 71.7 71.9 72.0 39.7 41.3 42.0 41.9 41.8
 Spouse absent 2.0 2.6 2.9 3.0 2.3 2.3 2.6 3.2 3.1 2.4 1.7 2.5 2.7 3.0 2.3
Widowed 34.2 32.1 30.3 29.9 29.0 14.2 14.4 13.7 13.1 12.9 48.6 45.3 42.9 42.4 41.3
Divorced 5.0 6.7 7.9 8.7 9.6 5.0 6.1 7.0 8.1 8.3 5.1 7.2 8.5 9.1 10.7
Years of school completed:                              
8 years or fewer 28.5 16.7 13.4 13.0 10.7 30.0 17.8 13.2 13.0 10.4 27.5 15.9 13.5 12.9 10.9
1 to 3 years of high school1 16.1 13.8 12.7 11.9 11.0 15.7 12.7 11.9 11.0 10.0 16.4 14.7 13.3 12.5 11.7
4 years of high school2 32.9 35.9 36.3 36.7 36.5 29.0 30.4 31.6 32.9 32.0 35.6 39.9 39.9 39.5 39.9
1 to 3 years of college3 10.9 18.0 18.7 19.0 20.2 10.8 17.8 18.4 17.4 19.4 11.0 18.2 19.0 20.2 20.8
4 years or more of college4 11.6 15.6 18.9 19.5 21.7 14.5 21.4 24.9 25.6 28.2 9.5 11.4 14.3 14.9 16.8
Labor force participation5:                              
Employed 11.5 12.4 14.5 15.0 16.1 15.9 16.9 19.1 19.8 20.5 8.4 9.1 11.1 11.4 12.8
Unemployed 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 1.1 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.6 1.5 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.8
Not in labor force 88.1 87.2 84.9 84.6 82.8 83.6 82.5 80.2 79.7 78.1 91.3 90.6 88.5 88.3 86.4
Persons below poverty level6: 11.4 9.7 9.8 10.1 n.a. 7.8 6.9 7.0 7.3 n.a. 13.9 11.8 11.9 12.3 n.a.
NOTES: n.a. = not available.
1. Represents those who completed 9th to 12th grade, but have no high school diploma.
2. High school graduate.
3. Some college or associate degree.
4. Bachelor's or advanced degree.
5. Annual averages of monthly figures (from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January issues. Data beginning 1990, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 not directly comparable with earlier years).
6. Poverty status based on income in preceding year.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States 2008, and U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Information Please® Database, © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Population 65 Years and Over by Age, 1990 and 2000 Population Persons 65 Years Old and Over—Characteristics by Sex, 1980–2000

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