How Aging Black America Lives
- Created on February 16th, 2009
- By Angie Boddie, NCBA
Bi-annually, the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc. publishes “How Aging Black America Lives,” a demographic report that delves into the quality of life concerns of African-American seniors. The report presents information, statistics and perspective on the status of older African Americans. By examining the social, economic, health and other indicators, relative to other racial and ethnic groups, it illustrates progress as well as the challenges that remain. “How Aging Black America Lives” is morethan just a compendium of numbers and statistics, its findings paint a picture of how Black Americans fare in aging in the United States. The picture is bleak.
Minority seniors are a large and fast-growing segment of the United States, and while many public and private sector agencies provide data on various aspects of the challenges confronting them, it is sometimes difficult to understand how this group is doing. By the year 2050, minorities are projected to be more than half of the total population. Seniors over age 55 will more than double, and African Americans will number more than 10 million. In light of this, NCBA believes it is increasingly important for policymakers at the national, state, and local levels as well as the general public to have an accessible, easy-to-understand document that demonstrates the promises and the difficulties confronting African American seniors.
The goal of “How Aging Black America Lives” is to contribute to the dialogue about the conditions that define quality of life for the Black elderly. This is important since not only the number, but the percentage of seniors and minority seniors, in particular are projected to reach unprecedented levels. The report has employed the latest information available for each of the subject areas discussed. Different agencies and sources compile and present information with different degrees of detail. For this reason different years are shown in different topic areas. Not all statistical information was available for every ethnic group or age group. As the details of the demographic changes in the United States are examined, How Aging Black America Lives highlights distinctions between the population as a whole and the elderly population. This report illustrates the differences between the major racial and ethnic groups as well as drawing important comparisons between men and women and between men and women within the ethnic and/or age groups. In some cases startling realities are revealed when the demographic indicators of life expectancy, mortality, employment, housing, income and living arrangements are compared through these different views. The report also demonstrates certain trends, particularly economic and health indicators affecting older Black Americans have not changed very much over the years. It will also show that some factors, such as obesity trends and health insurance coverage are better than is commonly reported.
Since many different agencies and organizations report on different statistical aspects of older Americans lives, another goal of How Aging Black America Lives is to condense this broad spectrum of information into one simplified presentation. The information presented here is intended to be a readily accessible picture of the status of older African Americans. Since the data has been gathered from these various sources, the reader can easily learn how older Black Americans live and compare to other ethnic groups.
To receive a full report, contact the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc. at 202-637-8400 or visit www.ncba-aged.org.