Boston, MA Senior Guide

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

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Key Senior Statistics

Use these key statistics to learn more about Boston, MA seniors.

  • 10% of the population of Boston, MA are seniors Source: Census.gov
  • 37% of those seniors living in Boston, MA are living alone Source: Census.gov
  • 14% of Boston senior households have an annual income of less than $10k and 42% less than $20k Source: Census.gov ACS
  • 36% of Boston, MA residents 60 and over received food stamps in the last year Source: Census.gov ACS
  • The average Social Security Income in Boston is $14,114/year Source: Census.gov ACS
  • The median household income for a Boston senior is $26,905 Source: Census.gov ACS
  • Compared to other states, Massachusetts ranks 30th for Long Term Care and 6th for America's Health Rankings Source: AmericasHealthRankings.org
  • There are 10,797 working seniors in Boston Source: Census.gov ACS
  • 13% of the seniors in Boston are veterans Source: Census.gov ACS

Population by Age

children (15%) working aged (75%) seniors (10%)

(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.

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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 Boston, MA.

Who do Seniors Live with?

There are 22,772 seniors living alone in Boston. Of these, 68% are female. Source: Census.gov

Seniors Living Alone

Percent Living Alone

Gender of Seniors Living Alone

59% of males 65 and older are married compared with 31% of females.
37% of females are widowed compared with 14% 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, 1% of Boston senior households do not have access to phone service.

Renters

Homeowners

Access to a Vehicle

Overall, 46% of Boston senior households do not have access to a vehicle.

Renters

Homeowners

Units in Rental Building

42% 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 Massachusetts

Care TypeMassachusetts Average CostNational Average Cost
Home Health Care
8 hours per week
$867$693
Adult Day Care
Weekdays only
$1,408$1,492
Assisted Living$5,300$3,600
Homemaker Services
44 hours per week
$4,528$3,721
Home Health Care
44 hours per week
$4,767$3,813
Nursing Home
Semi-Private - double occupancy room for one person
$10,737$6,692
Nursing Home
Private - single occupancy room for one person
$11,632$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 Massachusetts with the rest of the country by looking at these state-level quality rankings.

Massachusetts Long Term Care Scorecard Rankings

Click here for an expanded view of Massachusetts's Long Term Care 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 DimensionMassachusetts 2011 RankMassachusetts 2014 Rank
Affordability & Access Rank#17#17
Choice of Setting & Provider#14#14
Quality of Life & Quality of Care Rank#34#15
Support for Family Caregivers#39#41
Effective Transitions Rank#N/A#26
Overall Rank#30#30

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 Massachusetts

Click here for an expanded view of Massachusetts's America's Health Rankings® for seniors.

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

Determinant Massachusetts 2013 Rank Massachusetts 2015 Rank
Overall #5 #6
All Determinants #4 #4
Behaviors #11 #25
Smoking #23 #32
Chronic Drinking #47 #47
Obesity #10 #8
Underweight #25 #15
Physical Inactivity #19 #25
Dental Visit #3 #5
Pain Management #6 #32
Education #8 #8
Community #9 #8
Community & Environment - Macro #22 #23
Poverty #31 #31
Volunteerism #30 #35
Nursing Home Quality #11 #6
Community & Environment - Micro #1 #3
Food Insecurity #9 #6
Community Support #3 #3
Policy #5 #3
Low-Care Nursing Home Residents #20 #20
Prescription Drug Coverage #18 #18
Geriatrician Shortfall #6 #3
Clinical Care #17 #14
Dedicated Health Care Provider #5 #8
Flu Vaccine #7 #13
Health Screenings #1 #2
Recommended Hospital Care #22 #28
Diabetes Management #5 #2
Home Health Care #21 #19
Preventable Hospitalizations #38 #36
Hospital Readmissions #38 #31
Hospice Care #38 #36
Hospital Deaths #35 #38
All Outcomes #6 #7
ICU Use #16 #15
Falls #6 #13
Hip Fracture #9 #4
Health Status #8 #11
Able-bodied #10 #12
Premature Death #8 #6
Teeth Extractions #17 #20
Poor Mental Health Days #23 #27
Multiple Chronic Conditions #28 #28
Cognition #14 #21
Depression #11 #30

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 Boston, MA 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 Boston is $26,905 Source: Census.gov ACS

Annual Income for Senior Households

53% of senior households in Boston earn less than $30,000 per year, while 13% 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 Boston is $14,114 Source: Census.gov ACS
The average retirement income per household receiving it in Boston is $24,446 Source: Census.gov ACS
17% of seniors in Boston, MA are employed. Source: Census.gov ACS

Employment Status

Males

Females

How Seniors Travel to/from Work

27% of Boston seniors have a college degree. Source: Census.gov ACS

Highest Level of Education

Males

Females

67% of seniors living in Boston speak English at home. Source: Census.gov ACS
10% of the seniors in Boston 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

45% of senior homeowners in Boston have a mortgage. Source: Census.gov ACS

Home Ownership Cost as a Percent of Income

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Helpful Contacts for Seniors

  • Executive Office of Elder Affairs

    Services Provided: Elder Abuse Prevention
    One Ashburton Place
    Boston, MA 02108
    Peter Karg
    elder.affairs@state.ma.us
    Website
    8:45 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs

    Services Provided: State Agency on Aging
    One Ashburton Place
    Boston, MA 02108
    Ann Hartstein
    (617) 727-7750
    elder.affairs@state.ma.us
    Website
    8:45 AM - 5:00 PM - Eastern Time,
  • Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services

    Services Provided: Area Agencies on Aging, Information and Assistance
    100 Everett Avenue
    Chelsea, MA 02150
    James P. Cunningham Jr.
    (617) 884-2500
    CRW@crwelderservices.org
    Website
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Eastern Time, M-F
  • Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly

    Services Provided: Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Area Agencies on Aging, Information and Assistance
    1 City Hall Square
    Boston, MA 02201
    Emily Shea
    (617) 635-4366
    emily.shea@boston.gov
    Website
    Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project

    Services Provided: Legal Services
    99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400
    Boston, MA 02111
  • Greater Boston Legal Services

    Services Provided: Legal Services
    197 Friend Street
    Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 603-1577
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Friday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Ethos

    Services Provided: Elder Abuse Prevention, Long-term Care Ombudsman
    555 Amory Street
    Jamica Plain, MA 02130
  • Elder Abuse Hotline

    Services Provided: Elder Abuse Prevention
  • Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE)

    Services Provided: Health Insurance Counseling

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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.