15 Cities With the Oldest Populations

Happy seniors exercising with hula hoops
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

One of the most impactful demographic trends across the United States in the coming decades will be the growth in the population aged 65 and older.

Much of the country is graying as more baby boomers, who were until 2019 the U.S.’s largest generational cohort, reach retirement age. The boomers — more than 73 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — began hitting retirement age more than a decade ago and will continue to age into the 65-and-up bracket until the end of the 2020s.

Thanks to advances in health care and medicine, these older Americans are projected to live longer on average than their predecessors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 those aged 65 and older will constitute more than 20 percent of the U.S. population, and they are projected to remain between one-fifth and one-quarter of the U.S. population through at least 2060.

The U.S. is already seeing signs of these effects. A wave of retirements will leave labor shortages in some industries, while many of the occupations with the greatest growth potential are in health and social services, driven by the elderly’s greater need for care.

Experts believe that GDP growth is likely to slow as a result of lost productivity and increasing costs of care. Government social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security have seen their expenditures balloon as more retirees shift from paying into the system to receiving benefits from it. Nationally, within states, and at the community level, the U.S. will continue to experience the socioeconomic implications of an increasingly older population.

To find the cities where these trends will be most apparent, researchers at Filterbuy used 2019 Census data to identify which metro areas have the largest share of residents over 65. The researchers also found the city-level old-age dependency ratios as well as the percentage of the senior population with a disability to understand where the burdens of care might be even higher.

Here are the large cities (those with 350,000 residents or more) with the largest percentage of the population 65 and older.

15. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas
Gary L. Brewer / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 55,352

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 37.7%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

14. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 127,758

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 35.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.8%

13. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 84,165

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 38.5%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.3%

12. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
Valiik30 / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.7%

Total population 65 and older: 58,686

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 33.4%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.8%

11. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.
Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.8%

Total population 65 and older: 95,394

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.4%

10. New York, NY

New York City coastline
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.0%

Total population 65 and older: 1,242,566

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.6%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

9. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado
photo.ua / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.1%

Total population 65 and older: 70,512

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.3%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.6%

8. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.3%

Total population 65 and older: 59,203

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 35.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

7. Virginia Beach, VA

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.4%

Total population 65 and older: 65,405

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.2%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.3%

6. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.5%

Total population 65 and older: 82,197

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 38.8%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.7%

5. Louisville, KY

Louisville, Kentucky
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.6%

Total population 65 and older: 95,530

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.8%

Old-age dependency ratio: 25.5%

4. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.9%

Total population 65 and older: 139,273

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.2%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.7%

3. Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque, New Mexico
BrigitteT / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 16.2%

Total population 65 and older: 90,429

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 33.4%

Old-age dependency ratio: 26.5%

2. Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 16.5%

Total population 65 and older: 85,337

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 28.5%

1. Miami, FL

Miami
Kamira / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 17.5%

Total population 65 and older: 81,251

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.6%

Old-age dependency ratio: 27.1%

Methodology & Detailed Findings

Working on computer data analysis on a laptop
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

Researchers used the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Cities were ranked according to the percentage of the population 65 and older. Researchers also calculated the total population 65 and older, the percentage of the population 65 and older with a disability, and the old-age dependency ratio for each city.

For relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included in the report, which grouped them into cohorts of small, midsize, and large metros.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.