Combating Ageism and Stereotypes with Data

New York's 4.6 million older adults bring enormous intellectual, social and economic capital.
Combating Ageism and Stereotypes with Data
Aging Reframed
The Social, Economic & Intellectual Contributions of Older Adults


New York's 4.6 million older adults bring enormous intellectual, social and economic capital. Older New Yorkers and baby boomers make up 65% of all household income generated in New York State. They have high home ownership rates, are supporting schools, local business, and support almost 7 million jobs. 

"For decades, older adults have been portrayed as frail, needy, and costly to the health and social services systems. This is a misnomer. Individuals of all ages sometimes need assistance, but older adults en masse consider themselves healthy, remain active and engaged and are a very important part of the local, regional, state and national economies. Further, they give a tremendous amount of their time to hundreds of civic groups and organizations that are critical in delivering direct services and supporting local agencies. Older adults are committed to improving their communities and helping their neighbors."

NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen

Older NYers and Volunteerism
  • 935,000 individuals age 60+ contribute 495 million hours of community service at an economic value of $13.8 billion.
  • Individuals age 50+ account for the most volunteering, philanthropy, entrepreneurs, and donation activities in the U.S. out of any demographic group. 
Older NYers: Contribution to the Tax Base
  • 64% of individuals age 60+ own their own homes and have no mortgage, contributing directly to the local tax base.
  • Adults 50+ are responsible for approximately $1.8 trillion in federal, state and local taxes (2018), a figure that will quadruple by 2050.
  • Adults 50+ are 36% of the population yet support about 43% percent of federal tax revenue ($1.4 trillion) and 37% percent of state and local tax revenue nationwide ($650 billion).
  • Adults 50+ contribute $72 billion in state and local taxes (39% of total), a contribution that will triple to $255 billion by 2050.
Older NYers and Caregiving
  • 4.1 million caregivers (average age of 64) provide unpaid care for a loved one (spouse, child, grandchild or others) at a total market value of $32 billion.
Older NYers: Economic Contributions
  • 80% of NYS Retirement System Payouts Stay in NY ($10.6 billion annually), contributing to state and local economic activity. 
  • 83% of U.S. household wealth is held by people over 50. Access to credit and assets allows older adults to spend more on goods, services and investments than their younger counterparts, contributing $9 trillion in economic and unpaid activities (2018).
  • Adults 50+ support more than 88.6 million jobs (44% of total employment) and over $4.7 trillion in labor income.
  • New Yorkers 50+ are 36% of the population yet contribute 43% (or $719 billion) of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is expected to reach $2.2 trillion by 2050.
  • New Yorkers 50+ support 5.9 million jobs, a figure that will reach 6.6 million by 2050.
  • New Yorkers 50+ generated $482 billion in wages and salary, a figure that will reach $1.46 trillion by 2050)