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Older Americans

(credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

(credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – May is national Older Americans Month, recognizing persons over 65 – 40.9 million people according to the latest data in 2010 — one in every eight Americans.

The number of older Americans increased by 5.4 million since 2000 with 72% of the men married contrasted with 48% of women unmarried and 3.5% of that population is at or below the poverty level.

Our older population has increased in education. In 1970, only 28% had finished high school and by 2010 that number grew to 79.5% with 22.5% going beyond to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The theme this year for national Older Americans Month is “never too old to play,” stressing staying active in our communities. Older Americans give more to charity than any other age groups and more than twenty-four percent volunteer.

And while you can call your grandmom a senior when buying her a movie ticket, the census calls her an older American.

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