Incomes for people over age 65 have risen and poverty rates have fallen dramatically, according to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Administration.
The report, based on 2000 and 1990 Census data, found that older people in 2000 also had more education and were more likely to be homeowners and have access to a vehicle than their counterparts 10 years earlier. Life expectancy has increased and fewer elderly people are institutionalized in nursing homes.
“The improved economic and health situation of Minnesota’s senior population is good news,” said State Demographer Tom Gillaspy. “It’s going to be a challenge to continue to achieve improvements in the face of the anticipated large increases in the elderly population beginning within the next five to six years.” Gillaspy also pointed out that costs for health care and prescriptions, major issues for many older people, are not covered in the Census.
The report, Elderly Minnesotans: A 2000 Census Portrait notes that despite the improvements, aging continues to be a challenging process. People in their eighties are much more likely to be poor, disabled and institutionalized than are people in their sixties and seventies. Women have much lower incomes than men, and are more likely to live alone.