Exploring Senior Demographics of New York

Last Updated on April 20, 2024 by Rachel


New York, a state synonymous with diversity, dynamism, and cultural richness, stands as a beacon of opportunity and inclusivity. As we delve into the American Community Survey 2022 Census data, a captivating narrative unfolds, unveiling the intricate tapestry of senior life in the Empire State. With a total population of 19,677,151, New York is home to a vibrant community of seniors, constituting 18.12% of the population aged 65 and over.

Population (Sex And Age, Race)

In the realm of senior demographics, New York boasts a senior population of 3,564,596 individuals, representing a significant 18.12% of the state’s inhabitants. This demographic is characterized by a median age of 73.6 years, with 43.7% being male and 56.3% female. The racial composition is diverse, with 93.7% identifying with one race. White seniors represent the majority at 67.6%, followed by Black or African American (11.9%), Asian (7.7%), and a notable Hispanic or Latino origin of 12.0%.


Within households, seniors play pivotal roles, with 88.3% acting as householders or spouses, showcasing the close-knit familial bonds prevalent in New York. Parental roles are taken up by 5.4%, while 3.6% assume positions as other relatives, and 2.7% as non-relatives, with 1.3% being unmarried partners.


New York’s senior households, numbering 2,212,048, demonstrate a balanced mix of family and non-family setups. Family households constitute 52.4%, with married-couple families making up 39.8% and female householders, no spouse present, accounting for 9.6%. Nonfamily households, particularly those with a householder living alone, make up 47.6%, reflecting the diverse living arrangements seniors choose.

Marital Status

The marital status of New York seniors unveils a nuanced landscape, with 52.5% currently married, except separated. Widowed seniors constitute 20.7%, while 14.1% are divorced, 2.2% are separated, and 10.4% have never married, illustrating the varied life experiences and journeys within the senior community.

Education Status

Education stands as a cornerstone of New York’s senior demographic, showcasing a balanced distribution. Seniors with less than a high school graduate make up 15.8%, those with a high school graduate, GED, or alternative education comprise 29.5%, some college or associate’s degree holders represent 22.4%, and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher account for 32.2%. This diverse educational background mirrors the wealth of knowledge and experiences within the senior population.

Responsibility For Grandchildren Under 18 Years

New York seniors actively engage in familial responsibilities, with 5.1% living with grandchildren and 0.9% shouldering the responsibility for their care, reflecting the multi-generational nature of New York households.

Veteran Status

Honoring their service to the nation, 9.0% of New York seniors hold the esteemed title of civilian veterans, embodying a legacy of dedication and sacrifice.

Disability Status

The Civilian noninstitutionalized population in New York reflects a balance between abilities, with 32.4% reporting disabilities and 67.6% indicating no disability. This emphasizes the importance of accessible and inclusive environments in the state.

Language Status

The linguistic landscape of New York seniors is rich, with 73.9% speaking only English and 26.1% communicating in languages other than English. A notable 16.9% speak English less than “very well,” emphasizing the importance of language accessibility and cultural inclusivity.


In conclusion, New York’s senior population is not just a numerical statistic but a dynamic community contributing to the state’s cultural mosaic. The diversity in age, race, relationships, households, and various other aspects paints a vivid portrait of senior life in the Empire State. This demographic isn’t just defined by its numbers; it embodies the stories, experiences, and resilience that make New York a truly unique and vibrant place for seniors to call home.

Employment Status

In the realm of senior demographics in New York, a comprehensive examination of employment status provides insights into the active engagement of the elderly population in the labor force. Out of the vast senior population of 3,564,596, a noteworthy 19.7% are actively participating in the labor force. This segment is further divided into those gainfully employed (19.0%) and those seeking employment (0.7%). The unemployment rate, representing the percentage of the civilian labor force without a job, stands at 3.8%. However, a substantial 80.3% of seniors are not part of the labor force, reflecting a significant portion that has transitioned into retirement or other non-employment pursuits.

Income Status

Household Earnings

Delving into the economic landscape of senior households, 39.8% report earnings. The mean earnings for this group are estimated at $90,887, shedding light on the financial dynamics of seniors actively contributing to the workforce. This statistic underscores the diverse economic contributions made by this segment of the senior population.

Social Security Income

For 86.2% of senior households, Social Security income serves as a crucial financial pillar. The mean Social Security income is calculated at $24,050, emphasizing the importance of this support system in the economic well-being of New York’s elderly population.

Supplemental Security Income, Cash Public Assistance Income, Retirement Income, Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits

Additionally, 8.9% of senior households receive Supplemental Security Income, with a mean value of $10,407. Cash public assistance income is reported by 3.0% of households, with a mean income of $3,612. A significant 58.3% of senior households receive retirement income, indicating the prevalence of pension plans and other retirement savings mechanisms. The mean retirement income for this group is $36,184. Furthermore, 16.7% of senior households benefit from Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, showcasing the ongoing need for financial assistance in this demographic.

Poverty Status

Examining the poverty status of seniors, 13.2% fall below 100 percent of the poverty level. An additional 8.3% are within the range of 100 to 149 percent of the poverty level, while the majority, at 78.5%, are at or above 150 percent of the poverty level. This data underscores the economic diversity within the senior population in New York, with a substantial proportion comfortably above the poverty threshold.

Housing Status

Occupied Housing Units

Out of the 2,212,048 occupied housing units, 65.6% are owner-occupied, reflecting a prevalent homeownership trend among seniors. Conversely, 34.4% of seniors opt for rental arrangements, showcasing a substantial portion who may prefer the flexibility and reduced responsibilities associated with renting.

Characteristics of Owner-occupied and Renter-occupied Units

Owner-occupied units, with an average household size of 1.99, exhibit a variety of characteristics. Notably, 67.9% of these units have monthly owner costs that are less than 30 percent of household income, emphasizing a relatively manageable financial commitment for these homeowners. The median value of owner-occupied units stands at $381,400, indicating the economic significance of home equity among senior homeowners.

For renter-occupied units, where the average household size is 1.60, 42.5% have gross rent as a percentage of household income less than 30 percent. The median gross rent for these units is $1,097, offering insights into the rental market’s affordability for seniors.


In conclusion, the diverse landscape of senior statistics in New York reflects a dynamic and multifaceted elderly population. From employment and income dynamics to housing and poverty status, the data reveals a rich tapestry of experiences among seniors. As New York continues to be a hub of cultural, economic, and social activities, understanding the unique characteristics of its senior population becomes crucial for tailored policy initiatives and community support. The blend of economic contributions, social dynamics, and housing preferences paints a comprehensive picture of seniors’ lives in the vibrant state of New York. This information can serve as a foundation for fostering an age-friendly environment and ensuring the well-being of seniors as integral members of the community.