Demographics

A growing population of nearly half a million older adults (age 55 and older) live in Central Indiana. This section of the report emphasizes population trends and household characteristics, including socioeconomic indicators.

A growing population of nearly half a million adults age 55 and older live in Central Indiana.  This older adult population is not a monolithic group, but rather varies by age group, race, ethnicity, household composition, socioeonomic status and other characteristics.  This section of the report presents key population trends and demographics highlighting the diverse nature of older adults in Central Indiana. Key findings include:

  • The older adult population is increasing at six times the rate of the younger population.
  • People of color comprise one in six older adults. The older adult population will become increasingly diverse as the more heterogeneous younger population ages.
  • Four in ten older adults lives alone.
  • Older adults of color are three times more likely to experience poverty compared to White older adults.

Current Population

There are 480,000 older adults in Central Indiana

Population Trends

The population of older adults increased from 412,000 in 2013 to 480,000 in 2017.
There was an increase of 67,000 older adults between 2012 and 2017.

Race and Ethnicity

83% of older adults are white, compared to 53% of the population under 55.
There are 81,000 older adults of color in Central Indiana.

Households and Families

60% of older adults are married, but only 35% of those 85 and older.
24% of older adults live alone, but living alone is more common  with age
1 in 4 older adults live in a household with more than one generation
21% of white older adults live with more than one generation
37% of black older adults live with more than one generation
54% percent of Hispanic older adults live with more than one generation.

Income and Poverty

6% of older adults live in poverty.
Black older adults are almost three times more likely to live in poverty than white older adults
Median household income declines as households get older

Location of older adults in Central Indiana

This map is interactive. Hover over an area to learn more about the older adult population in each census tract.

Introduction

As the Baby Boomer population continues to age, the older adult population in Central Indiana increased by 28% between 2012 and 2019. In contrast, the total population under age 55 increased by 5%. As of 2019, older adults composed one quarter (25.3%) of the Central Indiana population, which is slightly lower than for the state as a whole (28%). The oldest-old age group, those age 85 and older, consists of 1.6% of the population in Central Indiana. The younger-old (ages 55 to 64) and the middle-old (ages 65 to 84) age groups are 12.3% and 11.5% of the total Central Indiana population respectively.

While the older adult population in Central Indiana is more diverse than the rest of the state, the majority (83%) of older adults age 55 and older in Central Indiana are White. The older adult population is less diverse than subsequent generations. One third of those under age 55 (33%) are people of color. The racial makeup of older adults will change as this younger, more diverse cohort grows older.

Older adult population grew faster than younger population
As younger cohorts age, the older adult population will become more diverse

Concentration of older adults experiencing poverty

This map is interactive. Hover over dots to learn more about older adults experiencing poverty in each census tract.

Older Adult Households

Age, race and ethnicity relate strongly to the kinds of households and families in which older adults live. As householders grow older, they are more likely to become widowed, less likely to be married and more likely to live alone. Latinx older adults are more likely than older Black adults and older White adults to live in households where more than one generation lives together, and are more likely to be married, making them less likely to live alone.

Four in ten (39%) older adult households in Central Indiana consist of individuals living alone. The oldest-old (those age 85 and older) are much more likely to be living alone (69%) compared to the middle-old (42%) and younger-old (33%). Black older adult households are more likely to consist of those living alone (50%) compared to Latinx older adult households (30%) and White older adult households (38%).

The younger-old and middle-old are much more likely to be currently married (51% and 46% respectively), compared to the oldest-old, of which only 20% are married. Black older adults are the least likely to be married (27%), compared to Latinx older adults (48%) and White older adults (49%). Among all older adults in Central Indiana, over one third (34%) are divorced, separated or widowed.

Nearly 4% of older adults live in households with their grandchildren. This rate is highest for the younger-old (4.7%) and lowest for the oldest-old (1.2%). A larger share of Latinx older adults live with their grandchildren (12.3%), while this rate is 5.9% and 3.3% for Black and White older adults, respectively.

Older racial/ethnic minorities frequently live in households with multiple generations