Older Americans are quickly becoming the fastest growing segment of the population. By the year 2030, it is estimated that approximately one in five Americans will be 65 or older. The 2000 Census Bureau reported that 11 percent of Nevada’s population fell within this aging category. Amazingly, interim projections estimate that between 2000 and 2030, Nevada’s 65 and older population will increase over 260 percent. Only two other states, Alaska and Arizona, will see an increase of over 200 percent during this time period (Census 2005). According to the Education Research Service (ERS 2005), this aging population will double by the year 2050.
Because rural areas normally have a higher proportion of elderly, this increase in population could potentially have a large impact on rural resources. Plans need to be made in advance to address issues in housing, health care, and transportation in order to support our aging population.
The following publication is designed to show, by county, the growth since 1970 and the projections to 2026 of this aging population.
*Percentages rounded to the nearest tenth of 1 percent.
With the exception of three counties (Elko, Humboldt and Pershing), all counties in Nevada noticed an increase in the percentage of residents age 65 and older between 1970 and 2000. Projections show that between 2006 and 2026, only Eureka and Mineral counties may possibly have a reduction in the percentage of residents who are 65 and older.
Reasons for the growing senior population in Nevada has been attributed to issues such as in-migration of retirees, aging of the existing population, and the out-migration of younger people, especially in rural environments. While these reasons vary, the impact of the senior population is multi-faceted, affecting all aspects of our communities. This population change will impact transportation needs, housing requirements, workforce pools, health care costs and voting directions to name a few. This increase in the senior population should be recognized and taken into consideration when planning community interventions and educational programs.
Nevada State Demographers Office (2006). Age Sex Race and Hispanic Origin Estimates from 2000 to 2005 and Projections from 2006 to 2026 for Nevada and Its Counties. Retrieved November 11, 2006 from website: SBDC.
U.S. Census Bureau (2005) Interim Projections: Change in Total Population and Population 65 and Older, by State: 2000 to 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2006 from website: Census.
U.S. Census Bureau (2000). Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data Geographic Area: Nevada – County. Retrieved from website: Census data.
U.S. Department of Commerce (1973). 1970 Census of the Population: Characteristics of the Population, Nevada.
U.S. Department of Commerce (1983). 1980 Census of Population: General Social and Economic Characteristics, Nevada.
U.S. Department of Commerce (1992). 1990 Census of Population: General Population Characteristics, Nevada.
USDA Economic Research Service (2005), Rural Population and Migration: Rural Older Population. Retrieved from website: USDA.
UNLV Center for Democratic Culture (2005). Aging Trends and Challenges in Nevada, Retrieved November 11, 2006 from website: UNLV.
Extension's Communication Team
Powell, P., 2008, Aging Statistics in Nevada, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-07-06
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