Census Data: New Strain on Social Security?

Last Updated May 26, 2011 11:57 AM EDT

My 87-year old mother in-law recently exclaimed: "I'm too old for this aging thing!" According to 2010 Census data, she's not alone. The US is getting older--the median age rose to 37.2, up from 35.3 in 2000 and the 45-plus age group grew 25.6 percent over the decade.

The Census results underscore what we know: the 78 million baby boomers, who are now between the ages of 46 and 65, will be dominating the national debate on entitlement reform. On this week's episode of "Ask the Experts," we were inundated with questions about Social Security. Thankfully we had smarty-pants actuary Steve Vernon in the house to help out.

More census facts:

  • The number of men increased 9.9 percent
  • The number of women increased 9.5 percent
  • Women outnumber men by 5.18 million -- in 2000, the gap was 5.3 million
  • If you are seeking women, head to Washington DC, RI, MD, MA and NY, which have the largest share of women
  • If you are seeking men, consider relocating to Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota and Nevada, which have the highest male proportions
  • Oldest state: Maine (median age is 42.7)
  • Youngest state: Utah (median age is 29.2)
  • The average household size: 2.58 people per household
  • Married couples: 48.4 percent, down from 51.7 percent in 2000 (first time the number dropped below 50 percent. In 1950, married couples made up a whopping77 percent of households---more on this fact in another post!)
  • Among the nation's occupied housing units, 65.1 percent were owned, compared with 34.9 percent that were rented
  • Jill Schlesinger On Twitter»

    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.