District of Columbia Senior Guide

The District of Columbia Senior Guide contains key statistics and information about how senior citizens in District of Columbia live. Use this tool to compare healthcare quality, senior housing options, demographic and financial statistics, and other important data for District of Columbia with the rest of the country. This guide also contains helpful contact information for local government agencies that offer assistance to senior citizens.

Key Senior Statistics

Use these key statistics to learn more about District of Columbia seniors.

  • 11% of the population of District of Columbia are seniors Source: Census.gov
  • 38% of those seniors living in District of Columbia are living alone Source: Census.gov
  • 11% of District of Columbia senior households have an annual income of less than $10k and 27% less than $20k Source: Census.gov ACS
  • 29% of District of Columbia residents 60 and over received food stamps in the last year Source: Census.gov ACS
  • The average Social Security Income in District of Columbia is $14,233/year Source: Census.gov ACS
  • The median household income for a District of Columbia senior is $45,932 Source: Census.gov ACS
  • Compared to other states, District of Columbia ranks 10th for Long Term Care and 0th for America's Health Rankings Source: AmericasHealthRankings.org
  • There are 14,740 working seniors in District of Columbia Source: Census.gov ACS
  • 18% of the seniors in District of Columbia are veterans Source: Census.gov ACS

Population by Age

children (15%) working aged (74%) seniors (11%)

(as of 2010)

In the U.S., around 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 today and everyday for over the next 15 years.

Learn more about the aging population explosion.
The number of people aged 65 and over in District of Columbia is projected to rise -6% over the next 15 years, from 61,714 to 58,238. U.S. Census Population Projections

District of Columbia 65+ Population by County

District of Columbia 65+ Population by County

The 65+ population in District of Columbia as a percent of total state population is below:

Over 652015202020252030
Population 61,714 61,535 60,103 58,238
Percent 12.2% 12.8% 13.2% 13.4%
National Percent 14.5% 16.3% 18.2% 19.7%

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The number of District of Columbia residents 85 and over will increase -8%, from 9,570 to 8,838. U.S. Census Population Projections

District of Columbia 85+ Population by County

District of Columbia 85+ Population by County

The 85+ population in District of Columbia as a percent of total state population is below:

Over 852015202020252030
Population 9,570 8,921 8,672 8,838
Percent 1.9% 1.9% 1.9% 2%
National Percent 2.1% 2.2% 2.3% 2.6%

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Senior Housing

Use our senior housing data to get a snapshot of the housing characteristics and living arrangements of the aging population in District of Columbia.

Who do Seniors Live with?

There are 25,913 seniors living alone in District of Columbia. Of these, 66% are female. Source: Census.gov

Seniors Living Alone

Percent Living Alone

Gender of Seniors Living Alone

55% of males 65 and older are married compared with 29% of females.
37% of females are widowed compared with 13% of males. Source: Census.gov

Marital Status

Males

Females

Senior Households: Homeowners vs. Renters

Year Home was Built

Renters

Homeowners

Year Current Resident Moved In

Renters

Homeowners

Percentage with Telephone Service

Overall, 2% of District of Columbia senior households do not have access to phone service.

Renters

Homeowners

Access to a Vehicle

Overall, 37% of District of Columbia senior households do not have access to a vehicle.

Renters

Homeowners

Units in Rental Building

46% of senior renters reside in a large development - one that has 50 or more units.

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Long Term Care Choices

Just 37% of people think they will need long term care, but 69% of people actually will.

Click here for a senior care reality check.

Average Monthly Cost of Long Term Care Services in District of Columbia

Care TypeDistrict of Columbia Average CostNational Average Cost
Home Health Care
8 hours per week
$763$693
Adult Day Care
Weekdays only
$2,145$1,492
Assisted Living$7,838$3,600
Homemaker Services
44 hours per week
$3,813$3,721
Home Health Care
44 hours per week
$4,195$3,813
Nursing Home
Semi-Private - double occupancy room for one person
$8,213$6,692
Nursing Home
Private - single occupancy room for one person
$8,213$7,604
Data from Genworth Long Term Care Costs & Cost of Care in 2015
Genworth Long Term Care Costs & Cost of Care

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Senior Healthcare Quality

Compare the quality of healthcare in District of Columbia with the rest of the country by looking at these state-level quality rankings.

District of Columbia Long Term Care Scorecard Rankings

The 50 states plus Washington, D.C. are ranked on a scale of 1 to 51, where 1 is the highest quality, 51 the lowest.

Ranking DimensionDistrict of Columbia 2011 RankDistrict of Columbia 2014 Rank
Affordability & Access Rank

Consumers can easily find and afford the services they need and there is a safety net for those who cannot afford services.

#1#1
Choice of Setting & Provider

A person-centered approach to LTSS places high value on allowing consumers to exercise choice and control over where they receive services and who providers them.

#24#29
Quality of Life & Quality of Care Rank

Services maximize positive outcomes and consumers are treated with respect. Personal preferences are honored when possible.

#27#30
Support for Family Caregivers

Family caregivers' needs are assessed and addressed so that they can continue in their caregiving role without being overburdened.

#14#2
Effective Transitions Rank

LTSS are arranged to integrate effectively with health care and social services, minimizing disruptions such as hospitalizations, institutionalizations, and transitions between settings.

#N/A#35
Overall Rank

Rank considering all available data.

#10#10

Data from LongTermScorecard.org - A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers created by:

AARP, Inc.
The Commonwealth Fund
The SCAN Foundation

America's Health Rankings® for District of Columbia

The states are ranked on a scale of 1 to 50, where 1 is the highest ranking, 50 the lowest.

Determinant District of Columbia 2013 Rank District of Columbia 2015 Rank
Smoking

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who smoke at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who currently smoke every day or some days

#0 #0
Chronic Drinking

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who consumed more than 60 drinks in the last 30 days for men and more than 30 drinks in the last 30 days for women

#0 #0
Obesity

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older estimated to be obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher

#0 #0
Underweight

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with fair or better health status estimated to be underweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or less

#0 #0
Physical Inactivity

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with fair or better health status who report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days

#0 #0
Dental Visit

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report having visited a dental health professional within the last 12 months

#0 #0
Pain Management

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with arthritis who report arthritis or joint pain does not limit their usual activities

#0 #0
Education

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with a college degree

#0 #0
Poverty

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who live in households at or below 100% of the poverty threshold

#0 #0
Volunteerism

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report volunteering in the past 12 months

#0 #0
Nursing Home Quality

Percentage of certified nursing home beds rated 4- or 5-stars

#0 #0
Food Insecurity

Percentage of adults aged 60 and older who are marginally food insecure

#0 #0
Community Support

Total expenditures captured by the Administration on Aging divided by the number of adults aged 65 and older living in poverty

#0 #0
Low-Care Nursing Home Residents

Percentage of nursing home residents who were low-care, according to the broad definition (no physical assistance required for late-loss activities of daily living)

#0 #0
Prescription Drug Coverage

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who have a creditable prescription drug plan

#0 #0
Geriatrician Shortfall

Estimated geriatrician shortfall as a percentage of the minimum required number

#0 #0
Dedicated Health Care Provider

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report having a personal doctor or health care provider

#0 #0
Flu Vaccine

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who received the flu vaccine in the last year

#0 #0
Health Screenings

Percentage of adults aged 65 to 74 who have had mammograms and/or fecal occult/colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy screens within the recommended time period

#0 #0
Recommended Hospital Care

Percentage of hospitalized patients aged 65 and older who received the recommended care for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical procedures

#0 #0
Diabetes Management

Percentage of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 to 75 with diabetes receiving a blood lipids test

#0 #0
Home Health Care

Number of personal care and home health aides per 1,000 adults aged 75 or older

#0 #0
Preventable Hospitalizations

Number of discharges for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

#0 #0
Hospital Readmissions

Percentage of patients aged 65 or older who were readmitted within 30 days of discharge

#0 #0
Hospice Care

Percentage of decedents aged 65 and older who were enrolled in hospice during the last 6 months of life after diagnosis of condition with high probability of death

#0 #0
Hospital Deaths

Percentage of decedents aged 65 and older who died in a hospital

#0 #0
ICU Use

Percentage of decedents aged 65 and older spending 7 or more days in the intensive care unit (ICU) or critical care unit (CCU) during the last 6 months of life

#0 #0
Falls

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report having had a fall within the last 12 months

#0 #0
Hip Fracture

Rate of hospitalization for hip fracture per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries

#0 #0
Health Status

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report their health is very good or excellent

#0 #0
Able-bodied

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with no disability

#0 #0
Premature Death

Number of deaths per 100,000 adults aged 65 to 74 years

#0 #0
Teeth Extractions

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who have had all teeth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease

#0 #0
Poor Mental Health Days

Number of days in the previous 30 that adults aged 65 and older indicate that their mental health was not good

#0 #0
Multiple Chronic Conditions

Percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with 4 or more chronic conditions

#0 #0
Cognition

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who report having a cognitive difficulty

#0 #0
Depression

Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who were told by a health professional that they have a depressive disorder

#0 #0

America's Health Rankings® is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation's health on a state-by-state basis. For the past 25 years, America's Health Rankings® has provided a holistic view of the health of the nation. America's Health Rankings® is the result of a partnership between United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention™.

Americas Health Rankings - United Health Foundation
United Health Foundation
ALPHA - American Public Health Association

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Senior Financial Overview

View our District of Columbia financial data below to learn about the income, wealth and costs incurred of those seniors living in the community.

The median household income for seniors in District of Columbia is $45,932 Source: Census.gov ACS

Annual Income for Senior Households

38% of senior households in District of Columbia earn less than $30,000 per year, while 25% earn more than $100K/year


Only those where the head of household is 65 or over are included. As an example, an elderly widow and her children's income would be counted if her children choose to live with her. However, if she chooses to live with her children, neither would be counted.

Also, keep in mind the distinction between household and individual income. A married couple over the age of 65 that is still working and earning $30,000 per year each would have a household income of $60,000.

The average Social Security income per household receiving the benefit in District of Columbia is $14,233 Source: Census.gov ACS
The average retirement income per household receiving it in District of Columbia is $38,566 Source: Census.gov ACS
21% of seniors in District of Columbia are employed. Source: Census.gov ACS

Employment Status

Males

Females

How Seniors Travel to/from Work

41% of District of Columbia seniors have a college degree. Source: Census.gov ACS

Highest Level of Education

Males

Females

90% of seniors living in District of Columbia speak English at home. Source: Census.gov ACS
9% of the seniors in District of Columbia are below the poverty level. Source: Census.gov ACS

Percentage of Seniors Below the Poverty Level

Male

Female

Percent of People 60 and Over Receiving Food Stamps

48% of senior homeowners in District of Columbia have a mortgage. Source: Census.gov ACS

Home Ownership Cost as a Percent of Income

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Helpful Contacts for Seniors

Elder Abuse Prevention

  • District of Columbia Office on Aging

    500 K Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    Dr. John M. Thompson
    (202) 724-5622
    dcoa@dc.gov
    Website
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm
  • Adult Protective Services

    64 New York Avenue, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    Website
    8:45 am. to 4:45 pm

Overview of Contacts

Information and Assistance

  • District of Columbia Office on Aging

    500 K Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    Dr. John M. Thompson
    (202) 724-5622
    dcoa@dc.gov
    Website
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm

Overview of Contacts

State Agency on Aging

  • District of Columbia Office on Aging

    500 K Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    Dr. John M. Thompson
    (202) 724-5622
    dcoa@dc.gov
    Website
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm

Overview of Contacts

Overview of Contacts

Health Insurance Counseling

Overview of Contacts

Aging and Disability Resource Centers

  • District of Columbia Aging and Disability Resource Center

    1134 11th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

Overview of Contacts

Long-term Care Ombudsman

  • District of Columbia Long-Term Care Ombudsman

    Legal Counsel for the Elderly
    Washington, DC 20049
    Lynne Person
    Website

Overview of Contacts

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Sources

Census.gov - Data from the 2010 United States Census. The Census counts every resident in the U.S. and is conducted once every 10 years.

Census.gov ACS - Data from the the 2009-2013 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every year. Because every resident is not surveyed each year, data from a 5 year period is used to improve accuracy.