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61 Assisted Living Statistics Operators Should Know

Stay up to date with trends to improve business outcomes.

Amanda McGrory-Dixon, 18th April 2024

As an assisted living operator, you’re dedicated to creating thriving communities and meaningful connections among your residents. By staying up to date on the latest assisted living statistics and trends, you can improve your business outcomes and optimize the experiences of the residents and families you serve. 

In this post, let’s review a list of interesting assisted living statistics every operator should know to help you improve your operations and provide better care. 

Table of Contents:

Senior Living Industry Statistics

Grasping the present state of the senior living industry is crucial for operators and stakeholders alike to make well-informed decisions. From workforce dynamics to identifying key opportunities and navigating revenue challenges, these statistics offer a comprehensive overview of the industry landscape.

Graphic showing the current amount of assisted living communities, licensed units and beds are in the U.S.

Current State of the Senior Living Industry

Here are some current statistics on the state of senior living:

  1. Approximately 30,600 assisted living communities exist in the United States. (NCAL)
  2. These communities offer nearly 1.2 million licensed beds with an average community size of 39 licensed beds. (NCAL)
  3. Forty-three percent of assisted living communities are small scale with between four to 10 beds. (NCAL)
  4. The senior living industry comprises 56% chain-affiliated and 42% independently owned communities. (NCAL)
  5. Eighteen percent of assisted living communities have a dementia care unit, wing, or designated floor. (NCAL)
  6. Eleven percent of assisted living communities only serve adults with dementia. (NCAL)

Senior Living Industry Workforce

An important aspect of the senior living industry is its workforce, which forms the backbone of everyday operations. Check out these senior living workforce statistics:

  1. Fifteen percent of senior living operators cite hiring and staff retention as their top challenge in 2024. (Aline)
  2. As of January 2023, the assisted living workforce comprised a total of 478,500 employees. (NCAL)
  3. Among them, 298,800 were employed full time at assisted living communities.​ (NCAL)
  4. Senior living care has an employee turnover rate of 50%, one of the highest turnover rates of any industry in the United States. (Workstream)

One of the biggest challenges in the senior living industry is learning how to improve employee retention. Strategies, like competitive wages, a supportive work culture, and helpful tools that cut down on administrative tasks, can help reduce turnover rates and foster a committed workforce. 

These efforts ensure consistent care for residents and higher satisfaction levels and improve the organization’s reputation and long-term success in the competitive market.

Key Opportunities and Challenges in the Senior Living Industry

The senior living industry faces a dual landscape of significant growth potential and pressing challenges. Check out these statistics of opportunities and challenges in the senior living industry

  1. Meeting occupancy goals was cited as the top challenge for 50% of senior living operators in 2024. (Aline)
  2. Securing data and using it to make better decisions was a challenge for 17% of senior living operators in 2024. (Aline)
  3. Seven out of 10 people require long-term assisted living care in their lifetime. (Consumer Affairs)
  4. The U.S. assisted living facility market size is expected to reach USD 140.8 billion by 2030. (Research and Markets)
  5. Seventy-seven of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term. (AARP)
  6. Fifty-four of middle-income older adults in the United States will lack the financial resources to pay for senior housing and care by 2029. (NIC)

While rising demand for long-term care and the projected market expansion present profitable opportunities, operators face challenges like meeting occupancy goals and leveraging data effectively. 

Strong CRM software is crucial to overcoming these challenges. Integrating a suite of tools for efficient data management further improves decision-making processes, contributing to the community’s success.

The looming financial constraints for middle-income older adults also highlight the need for innovative solutions to ensure accessible and affordable senior housing and care options in the future.

Demographics of Assisted Living Residents

Demographic factors, such as age, gender, race, and cultural background, are pivotal considerations for senior living operations due to their influence on residents’ needs, preferences, and overall well-being.

By accounting for these demographics, you can foster inclusive environments, improve resident satisfaction, and deliver person-centered care that addresses each resident’s unique needs.

Age Groups in Assisted Living Communities

Understanding the age demographics within assisted living communities is important for owners and operators to tailor their services effectively.

  1. The average age of people in an assisted living facility is 87 years old. (Rocky Mountain Assisted Living)
  2. Six percent of residents are under 65 years old. (NCAL)
  3. Thirteen percent of residents range from 65 to 74 years old. (NCAL)
  4. Thirty-one percent of residents range from 75 to 84 years old. (NCAL)
  5. Fifty percent of residents are 85 years old or older. (NCAL)

Assisted living communities cater primarily to older adults with most residents being 85 years old or older.

Operators should prioritize age-appropriate services and amenities to ensure the well-being of residents across all age groups within their communities.

Gender Distributions

Assisted living communities have a distinct gender gap with a notable prevalence of women compared to men. Women typically outlive men, marking a significant 5.9-year difference in life expectancy. 

  1. Women have an average life expectancy of 79.1 years while men have an average life expectancy of 73.2 years. (JAMA Intern Medicine)
  2. Seventy percent of assisted living residents are female compared to 30% who are male. (NCAL)

Gender considerations may guide facility design, roommate assignments, and the delivery of gender-specific care services.

Ethnicity and Cultural Considerations

Understanding the ethnic and cultural makeup of assisted living residents is important for providing culturally competent care and fostering inclusive communities. Here are some interesting statistics to keep in mind:

  1. About 88% of assisted living residents identify as non-hispanic white. (CDC)
  2. The baby boomer generation in the United States is primarily white (72%), followed by black (12%), hispanic (11%), Asian (5%), and other races (1%). (Love and Company)
  3. In 2022, there were a projected 4.8 million multigenerational households in the United States. (United States Census Bureau)
  4. Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders were the most probable racial demographic to live in a multigenerational household, accounting for 19.9%. (United States Census Bureau)
  5. Only 5% of white households in the United States were multigenerational. (United States Census Bureau)
  6. By 2060, 43% of the US population will be non-hispanic white, with hispanic coming in second (31%), followed by black (15%) and Asian (8%). (U.S. Census Bureau)
Graphic showing racial distribution of each generation from 2018 to 2060.

Most current assisted living residents are white, reflecting the demographic composition of the baby boomer generation. Cultural differences, including multigenerational living patterns, also influence the care landscape with nonwhite families being more likely to live in multigenerational households. 

As the U.S. population becomes more racially diverse, senior living facilities must adapt to accommodate the changing demographic landscape. 

This could include providing culturally competent care and respecting residents’ traditions, dietary preferences, and religious practices. These efforts ensure culturally competent care and foster inclusivity for all residents.

How Many Seniors Live in Retirement Communities

Assisted living operators should know how many seniors live in assisted living communities, including their regional distribution, prevalent daily activities, and health conditions. 

This information enables operators to assess the demand for assisted living communities across the United States and tailor services to meet residents’ needs effectively. 

Here are a few statistics on the amount of residents in assisted living facilities:

  1. The average length of time people stay in an assisted living facility is 24 months. (Aline)
  2. Over 818,000 people live in assisted living facilities. (NCAL)
  3. Around 60% of residents will move out of assisted living to transition to a skilled nursing center after a median stay of 22 months.​ (NCAL)

By staying informed about these statistics, you can tailor your offerings to provide the necessary care and support throughout your residents’ stay in your assisted living communities.

Regional Variations

Understanding regional differences is crucial for operators due to the vast geographic diversity across the United States. Here are some statistics on assisted living in different regions.

  1. Western states host the highest proportion of assisted living communities (41%), followed by the South (28%), the Midwest (23%), and the Northeast (9%). (NCAL)
  2. States with the most assisted living communities include California (4,100), Washington (1,902), Florida (1,804), Texas (1,295), Wisconsin (1,272), and Oregon (1,208). (Forbes)
  3. Conversely, states with the fewest assisted living communities include Delaware (34), Wyoming (43), Hawaii (61), Rhode Island (61), Vermont (70), and West Virginia (77). (Forbes)

States with the highest concentrations of assisted living communities often correspond with larger populations of individuals aged 65 and older. This correlation suggests a heightened demand for senior care services in regions with substantial aging populations. 

Conversely, states with fewer assisted living communities present potential opportunities for expansion and development within the senior living sector. By strategically targeting underserved regions and adapting services to meet local needs, you can capitalize on emerging market opportunities and provide essential care to aging populations across different U.S. regions.

Graphic showing the proportion of assisted living communities in the United States.

Needs and Conditions of Residents

Various factors contribute to older individuals transitioning into assisted living facilities. Understanding the daily needs and conditions of your residents is important for your community to provide appropriate care.

Some daily activities residents require assistance with include:

  1. Bathing: 64% 
  2. Walking: 50%
  3. Dressing: 49%
  4. Using the toilet: 43%
  5. Transferring to bed: 34%
  6. Eating: 22%

Some of the top health conditions residents in senior living facilities have:

  1. High blood pressure: 48%
  2. Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia: 42%
  3. Heart disease: 31%
  4. Depression: 29%
  5. Diabetes: 17%

Understanding the prevalent needs and health conditions of residents in assisted living communities is essential for delivering tailored care. By addressing these needs, communities can enhance resident well-being and ensure a higher quality of life for their occupants.

Financial Insights

Understanding the financial aspect of assisted living is extremely important for operators as it directly impacts operational decisions, resident affordability, and overall financial stability. 

These statistics offer insights into the current costs of assisted living, shed light on financial challenges faced by prospects, and provide valuable information on the industry’s internal financial dynamics.

Affordability Trends and Challenges

Understanding affordability trends in assisted living is essential as the cost of care continues to rise.

  1. More than 17 million older adults age 65+ are economically insecure with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level. (National Council on Aging)
  2. By 2033, the monthly median cost of an assisted living facility in the U.S. is expected to increase to $7,190, up 34% from 2023. (Genworth)
  3. Almost 1 in 5 residents rely on Medicaid to pay for daily services. (NCAL)
  4. The most expensive state for assisted living care was Washington, D.C. with an annual rate of $93,600. (Consumer Affairs)

These statistics show the pressing challenge of ensuring affordability and accessibility in senior care, particularly as demand for assisted living rises amidst economic insecurity among older adults.

Average Sales Cycle and Conversions

Understanding statistics on the sales cycle and conversion rates of assisted living facilities is crucial for operators to effectively manage occupancy and boost revenue. Check out some of these interesting statistics on the average sales cycle:

  1. Fifty-three percent of move-outs came from residents with a sales cycle equal to or less than one month. (Aline)
  2. Residents who took longer to move in experienced extended lengths of stay with an increase of 14% for sales cycles lasting between one to three months and up to 116% for sales cycles exceeding one year. (Aline)

Short sales cycles often occur when dealing with urgent prospects who require higher levels of care and tend to stay for shorter periods, resulting in more frequent move-outs.

To maintain stable occupancy levels, sales teams must focus on attracting more prospects with shorter sales cycles to counterbalance the increasing number of move-outs. Otherwise, the cycle velocity will decline. Robust CRM software is essential for tracking leads throughout the entire sales cycle, especially in cases of longer cycles. 

Understanding where you can find potential prospects is crucial for effective marketing strategies. Here are the top five sources of conversions:

  1. Print advertising: 83%
  2. Community knowledge/other: 68%
  3. Direct mail: 67%
  4. Unpaid referral: 64%
  5. Web/social: 29%
Graphic showing the top 5 market source conversions for assisted living facilities.

Traditional marketing sources have significantly higher inquiry-to-tour conversions, especially among the baby boomer generation. This demographic, more familiar with print media and direct mail, continues to rely on these traditional channels for information. 

For more insights into sales and marketing in the senior housing industry, refer to the Aline Benchmark Report.

Monitoring trends and the future in the assisted living industry is crucial for operators to effectively plan for the future and meet the growing demands of an aging population. Here are some key statistics highlighting the importance of monitoring these trends:

  1. The population of adults ages 85 and over will double by 2036 and triple by 2049. (Consumer Affairs)
  2. The U.S. will need nearly 1 million new senior living units by 2040. (Consumer Affairs)
  3. About 986,000 new assisted living units will be necessary in the next 10-20 years. (Consumer Affairs)
  4. The U.S. will need 156,000 additional senior housing units by 2025, 549,000 additional units by 2028, and 806,000 additional units by 2030. (NIC)

Monitoring trends and projections in the assisted living industry is essential for owners and operators to anticipate and meet the increasing demand for senior housing and care services. By understanding demographic shifts and future needs, you can strategically position your facility to provide high-quality care and accommodations for the growing aging population.

Be Prepared for the Future With Aline

Staying informed about assisted living statistics and trends is crucial for operators to effectively prepare for the future. Aline offers a comprehensive solution to navigate the evolving landscape of senior living, helping operators optimize performance, drive revenue growth, and stay ahead in a competitive market. 

If you’re interested in more insights, book a demo or check out the Aline Benchmark Report for insights that can help you optimize your performance and drive revenue growth in a competitive market. 

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