Rural Mobility for Older Adults: Matching Georgia’s Future Needs with Potential Capacity for Volunteer Driver Programs
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The population of Americans over the age of 65 (“older adults”) is steadily increasing. 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates show that 14.9 percent of the population is 65 and over, and the current 45-65 cohort represents 26.1 percent of population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). In 2014, The Department of Health and Human Services projected that the number of persons 65 and older will be 56.4 million by 2020, 82.3 million by 2040, and 98.2 million by 2060. In Georgia, the 65 and over population increased by nearly 45 percent between 2003 and 2013. Of the 2014 national population 65 and over, there were major gender differences: there were over three times as many widows as widowers, and 11.6 percent of older women lived in poverty compared to 6.8 percent of older men. The population of older adults living alone is more likely to be living in poverty than persons living with families, representing 16.7 percent and 6.2 percent of older adults respectively. In Georgia, nearly 11 percent of the older population is below the poverty level (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014).