By HOPE YEN
WASHINGTON, DC (AP) — Americans are more likely than ever to reach age 90. First-ever census figures on the 90-plus population show it’s nearly tripled in size since 1980, to 1.9 million.
One of the nation’s fastest growing groups, the 90-plus population is projected to reach 8 million by midcentury, representing 2 percent of the U.S. population. That’s a big change from over a century ago, when fewer than 100,000 people reached age 90.
The numbers show the majority of those age 90 or older had one or more disabilities. They also were much more likely than those ages 65-89 to live in poverty.
The report also noted the unique challenges created by people living longer, including added costs to the already-strained Medicare and Social Security programs.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)