Nestled along the scenic New England coastline, Rhode Island, the Ocean State, is renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and close-knit communities. As we delve into the American Community Survey 2022 Census data, a unique portrait of Rhode Island’s senior population, aged 65 and over, begins to emerge. This demographic analysis offers a comprehensive understanding of the state’s elderly residents, encompassing aspects such as age distribution, racial diversity, family dynamics, educational attainment, and more.
Population (Sex And Age, Race)
- Total Population: Rhode Island is home to 1,093,734 individuals, and among them, the senior population constitutes 18.85%, totaling 206,117.
- Sex and Age Distribution: Within this senior demographic, females hold a slight majority at 56.1%, with males representing 43.9%. The median age stands at 73.4 years, reflecting the accumulated wisdom of a mature population.
- Racial Diversity: Rhode Island’s senior community reflects a rich tapestry of races. The majority, at 94.7%, identifies as belonging to one race. This includes 86.8% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 1.9% Asian, and 0.1% American Indian and Alaska Native. A further 5.3% identify with two or more races, showcasing the state’s diversity.
- Household Dynamics: Of the 197,859 seniors living in households, a significant 90.2% are either householders or spouses, emphasizing the importance of family connections. Additionally, 4.0% are parents, 2.6% are other relatives, and 3.2% are nonrelatives, including unmarried partners.
- Household Types: Rhode Island’s senior households (131,459) consist of 47.9% family households, with 38.1% being married-couple families and 7.0% being female householder families without a spouse present. Nonfamily households make up 52.1%, with 48.0% being households where the householder lives alone.
- Marital Diversity: The marital status of Rhode Island seniors showcases diversity, with 50.8% currently married, 20.5% widowed, 16.6% divorced, 1.4% separated, and 10.8% never married. These varied statuses highlight the different life journeys individuals have taken.
- Educational Attainment: Educational diversity is evident among Rhode Island seniors. About 12.6% have less than a high school diploma, 30.1% are high school graduates or equivalent, 24.0% have some college or associate’s degree, and 33.3% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, showcasing a commitment to learning throughout life.
Responsibility For Grandchildren Under 18 Years
- Family Dynamics: Among seniors living with grandchildren (3.6%), 0.4% are responsible for their care, emphasizing the intergenerational connections within Rhode Island’s communities.
- Honoring Service: The state recognizes the service of its elderly population, with 12.6% being civilian veterans.
- Health and Well-being: Rhode Island seniors, particularly within the civilian noninstitutionalized population (198,944), exhibit a disability rate of 29.5%, while 70.5% report no disability, highlighting the diverse health conditions within this demographic.
- Language Diversity: Rhode Island embraces linguistic diversity among its seniors, with 83.5% speaking English only and 16.5% speaking a language other than English. Of the latter, 10.1% speak English less than “very well,” emphasizing the importance of inclusive communication.
Employment Status: A Reflection of Senior Engagement
In the second part of our exploration into the lives of seniors in Rhode Island, we turn our attention to their employment dynamics. Among the 206,117 seniors, a commendable 19.3% remain part of the labor force. The majority, 18.5%, are actively employed, showcasing the tenacity and continued contribution of Rhode Island’s seniors to the workforce. Unemployment stands at 0.8%, and 4.2% of the civilian labor force is unemployed, reflecting the economic resilience within this age group.
Income Status: A Tapestry of Financial Resources
Delving into the income sources of the 131,459 senior households unveils a multifaceted financial landscape. Of these households, 37.4% report earnings, with a mean income of $78,830, underlining the economic activity within this demographic. The primary income source for 88.3% of seniors is Social Security, with a mean income of $23,615. Supplemental Security Income supports 7.3%, contributing a mean of $8,601. A modest 3.4% receive cash public assistance, with a mean income of $2,224. Retirement income is a significant pillar for 57.4% of seniors, with a mean income of $35,191. Additionally, 14.0% benefit from Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, emphasizing the importance of social support systems.
Poverty Status: A Measure of Economic Stability
Turning our focus to poverty dynamics, the data reveals that 12.3% of the senior population falls below 100 percent of the poverty level. Another 8.3% fall within the 100 to 149 percent range, while a substantial 79.4% have an income at or above 150 percent of the poverty level. These figures underscore the overall economic stability within the senior community, with a significant majority comfortably positioned above the poverty threshold.
Housing Status: Insights into Shelter and Living Conditions
The 131,459 occupied housing units present a varied picture of housing tenure in Rhode Island. The majority, 71.8%, are owner-occupied, highlighting a sense of stability and long-term residence within the senior community. In contrast, 28.2% are renter-occupied, reflecting the diversity of living arrangements. The average household size varies between owner-occupied (1.96) and renter-occupied (1.39) units, providing insights into the preferred living conditions.
Selected housing characteristics include a 1.5% rate of households without telephone service, emphasizing the importance of connectivity for seniors, and a 0.4% rate of those with 1.01 or more occupants per room, underlining the need for adequate living space.
Within the owner-occupied units, 67.9% experience a housing cost burden of less than 30 percent of household income. The median value of these units is $375,700, with median monthly owner costs, both with and without a mortgage, standing at $1,669 and $837, respectively.
In the renter-occupied units, 46.8% have a gross rent that accounts for less than 30 percent of household income. The median gross rent is $909, providing insights into the affordability of rental options for seniors.
Conclusion: A Holistic Portrait of Rhode Island’s Senior Community
Within our exploration into the senior statistics of Rhode Island, a nuanced and holistic portrait emerges. Rhode Island’s seniors are active contributors to the workforce, drawing income from diverse sources such as earnings, Social Security, and retirement benefits. Economic stability is evident, with a majority comfortably above the poverty level.
Housing dynamics showcase a mix of ownership and rental arrangements, underscoring the diverse preferences of the senior community. Connectivity and living space remain essential considerations, reflecting the evolving needs of this demographic.
As we conclude this exploration, it’s evident that Rhode Island’s seniors are not defined solely by age but by a rich tapestry of experiences, resilience, and adaptability. The data serves as a foundation for informed decision-making, ensuring that policies and support systems are tailored to address the unique needs of this vibrant and invaluable segment of Rhode Island’s population. Looking forward, this comprehensive understanding fosters a vision of an inclusive and supportive environment, acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of seniors to the social fabric of Rhode Island.