What do you know about North Carolina’s older population?

By Rose Hoban

North Carolina is rapidly aging. These changes are happening quickly: by next year, 2018, there will be more people in the state over 60 than there will be under 17.

By 2030, about one in four people in North Carolina will be over the age of 60, and people over 85 will be fastest growing segment of the population.

In 2013, about 14 percent of the North Carolina’s residents were over the age of 65, that number had grown by more than a third in the prior decade.

What do we know about these people?

United States

North Carolina

Rank in U.S.

Percent of the population over 65

14.5 percent

14.7 percent


Percent of population aged 65+ who live below the poverty line

9.5 percent

10.0 percent


How fast the over 65 population grew between 2003-2013

24.7 percent

38.1 percent


Rate of deaths caused by stroke, 2011-2013

37.0 / 100,000 people

42.8/ 100,000


Median annual cost for nursing home care (semi-private room)




Projected number of people >65 with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2025



Annual mortality rate due to Alzheimer’s Disease, 2008

27.1/ 100,000

28.5/ 100,000


Est. number of caregivers for Alzheimer’s/ dementia patients, 2011



Est. value of unpaid care for Alzheimer’s/ dementia patients, 2011



Number of grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren


3.1 percent of households


3.4 percent of households


Number of people over 65 who are employed



maps show the changing number of people over 65 in each county.
More than half of the state’s counties are already experiencing population aging – a demographic shift in which the median age of the population increases significantly due to improved life expectancy and a drastic decline in birth rate. Map progression shows the changing number of people over 65 in each county.

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Rose Hoban is the founder and editor of NC Health News, as well as being the state government reporter. Hoban has been a registered nurse since 1992, but transitioned to journalism after earning degrees...

2 replies on “Seniors Poised to Become Fastest Growing Group in North Carolina”

  1. We – at Senior PharmAssist – really appreciate NC Health News paying attention to health issues at the national, state and local levels and what they mean for North Carolinians. We also appreciate the deep dive into issues related to special populations – seniors in this instance. Please keep it up as the people of North Carolina need to be informed and “ready” for what is coming down the pike.

  2. Dear Rose, …I mean Rose Hoban, RN:

    My name is Dr. John Kicos (Cornelius / Charlotte, NC) and I would like to send / email you information about the Kicos Medical Wheelchair as it eliminates wet diapers, helping cut down in UTI’s, etc for wheelchair users….mainly the elderly.

    I came across you info and thought I’d take a chance to contact you. We are starting to work with nursing homes in Carolina’s Healhcare System. We are also working with the VA (Salisbury).

    Thank you for your time.

    Healthy Regards,

    Dr. John Kicos

    Kicos Medical

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