What does this measure?
The share of residents 65 or older in a geographic area who are living alone.
Why is this important?
Population measures provide insight on the changing size and face of communities, and the distribution of population among ages affects the character of and challenges faced by a community. Older people may need more supports, particularly those living alone.
How is our county doing?
Similar to the state rate, 38% of residents in Essex County ages 65 and older lived alone in 2017-21, slightly lower than in 2012-16. That's nearly 38,000 people in Essex County. The national rate was similar, at 37%, in 2017-21. Rates were higher in the City of Salem (50%) followed by Amesbury (49%), Peabody (47%) and Haverhill (41%).
How do we compare to similar counties?
Middlesex, MA and Westchester, NY had a rate similar to Essex County in 2017-21, while Lake, IL was a bit lower, at 36%.
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.