The Takeaway: 65+ Population In U.S. Higher Than Ever; Jobless Rate Falls Below 9 Percent

American the Beautiful-and Gray: Census Bureau data released this week shows that the senior population of this country is higher than it’s ever been before. According to 2010 numbers, there are 40.3 million people ages 65+ in the United States, an increase of over 5 million since the 2000 Census. These days, one in every eight Americans-or 13 percent of the total population-is 65 or older.

There’s good news for older men in those numbers: They’re finally catching up to older women in terms of longevity. In 2000, there were about 88 men to every 100 women in the 65+ population; by last year, there were 90 older men for every 100 older women (guess that’s good news for the older ladies, too!).

While females continue to outnumber males in the older ages, males continued to close the gap over the decade by increasing at a faster rate than females,” said Carrie Werner, a statistician at the Census Bureau.

Though recent reports have found new or upcoming retirees less likely to migrate to Florida or Sun Belt states, Florida is still home to a greater percentage of older adults than any other state. Overall, 14.9 million members of the 65+ demographic live in the South-almost six million more than live in the nation’s second-oldest region, the Midwest. The West, however, has the fastest growing older population: Up 23.5 percent over the past decade.

November Jobs Growth: Finally, a little good news on the jobs front! The unemployment rate in November fell to 8.6 percent-the biggest drop since the beginning of the economic downturn, and the first time its dropped below 9 percent since March 2009. The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the economy added 120,000 new jobs in November. Hiring has still not returned to pre-recession levels, economists note, but job openings are up.

Friday Quick Hits: 

  • Judy Lewis, secret daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young, has died of cancer; she was 76.

 Photo: ABC News