Skip to Content

Americans Over 65 Are Working More Than Ever Before

Americans’ reputation for being workhorses is founded in fact.

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. workforce has a record-breaking number of workers aged 65 and older— almost 20% of over 65s are working — as first reported by Bloomberg.


This data is in line with Congress’ decision to delay the retirement age from 65 to 67 for people born after 1960—and experts agree that many of us will retire even later.

What’s causing this urge to keep the 9-to-5? While government policy is one factor, both economics and societal pressures also come into play. Because Americans are living longer than ever, retirement is becoming increasingly expensive, causing many to keep working while they can. It also doesn’t help that many Baby Boomers, who are starting to retire, are also paying off their children’s student loans.

And even for those who don’t need to keep working, many choose to do so because doing so actually prolongs people’s lives. According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, workers have an 11% lower chance of dying after waiting until 66 to retire. The risk decreased further for those between 66 and 72.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story said 20% of the U.S. workforce is over 65. It has been updated to say that 20% of over 65s are still working.