Facts & Figures

San Diego County Demographics

By the year 2030, 1 in 4 San Diegans will be age 60 or older.

As those in the baby boom generation age, the San Diego senior population continues to grow at a faster pace than the total population in the county. Between 2000 and 2030 it is projected that:

  • the 60+ population will increase from 404,025 to 929,766; a 130 percent increase;
  • the 65+ population will increase from 313,750 to 722,545; a 130 percent increase;
  • the 75+ population will increase from 153,691 to 324,855; a 111 percent increase;
  • the general population will increase from 2,813,833 to 3,870,000; a 38 percent increase.

Source: San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Aging and Independent Services: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/about_ais/demographics.html

Economic insecurity

23% of the San Diego senior population (ages 65+) does not have enough income to meet basic needs, including housing, food, and medicine, as measured by the United Way’s 2019 Real Cost Measure report.

Source: United Ways of California: https://www.unitedwaysca.org/images/realcostmeasure2019/countyprofiles/san_diego_county.pdf

When race, housing type, and family makeup are considered, certain populations are at much higher risk, according to UCLA’s Elder Index Demographics Dashboard. In San Diego County:

  • More than 33% of all Black and Latino elders don’t have enough money to make ends meet (2015)
  • 37% of single elders living alone don’t have enough money to make ends meet (2015)
  • 55.8% of single elders who live alone and rent their homes don’t have enough money to make ends meet (2015)

Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/programs/health-disparities/elder-health/Pages/eidd.aspx

According to County of San Diego data:

  • 9.1% of San Diego County seniors live at or below the federal poverty level (2016)

  • 26.1% of San Diego County seniors live between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level (2016). So roughly 35% of the San Diego senior population lives below 200% of the federal poverty level.

  • Due to their limited income and San Diego’s high cost of living, many seniors cannot afford to retire, as evidenced by the 17.4% of San Diego County seniors (age 65+) who are still in the labor force (2016).

Source: Live Well San Diego: https://data.livewellsd.org/Demographic-Profiles/Seniors-Labor-Force-and-Poverty-2016/i5ra-uqru/data

Living Alone

According to a 2016 study, 22% of people age 65 and over are considered “elder orphans” meaning they don’t have family close by and are aging with little to no support system.

Source: Carney, Fujiwara, Emmert, Liberman and Paris: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cggr/2016/4723250/

Of the older adults who were living outside of nursing homes or hospitals in 2010, nearly one third lived alone. Further:
  • Older women are twice as likely as older men to live alone (37 percent and 19 percent, respectively). In 2010, 72 percent of older men lived with a spouse, only 42 percent of older women did.
  • Living arrangements differ by race and ethnicity. Older non-Hispanic White women and Black women are more likely than women of other races to live alone (39 percent each, compared with about 21 percent of older Asian women and 23 percent of older Hispanic women).
  • The likelihood of living alone increases with age. Among women age 75+, almost half (47 percent) lived alone in 2010.

Source: The Institute on Aging: https://www.ioaging.org/aging-in-america

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators include the victims’ children, other family members, and spouses—as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. It is estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.

Source: National Council on Aging: https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/ 

Additional References

Aging-related websites: http://www.rrf.org/resources/aging-related-websites

Live Well San Diego data portal: https://data.livewellsd.org/ 

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Community Health Statistics reports: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_health_statistics/reports.html