|Ages 60+||Area Count||Area Percent||Area Count||Area Percent||Area Count||Area Percent|
Source: MassCHIP Copyright 2010 Massachusetts Department of Public Health “Older Adults Report”
The information that I obtained is comparing the ages of adults who are above the age of sixty in the towns of Sandwich and Lowell. After observing that the state of Massachusetts has a low rate of people who are over the age of sixty, it was alarming to see how many white people made up the population of citizens who are over the age of sixty. The three ethnic groups that I compared were White, Black and Asian.
Seeing the amount of white people over the age of sixty in Sandwich was not a surprise to me because being from that town, I had prior knowledge of the amount of white people that make up the community. I expected that the three ethnicities I looked at in Lowell would have a similar rate of elderly citizens. Surprisingly, however, white people above age 60 make up 83.7% of the population. I expected it to be lower than it was because of the greater diversity in Lowell compared to Sandwich. But when I looked at the state average, at over 90%, it became clear that most people over age 60 in Massachusetts are white.
One difference that stood out to me was the amount of Asians in Lowell who are over the age of sixty. In Lowell, elderly citizens make up 9.1% of the population, much higher than the state’s average of 2.6%. The Asian community is much larger in towns surrounding Boston, while in towns like Sandwich, which is about 65 miles south of Boston, the Asian community is practically nonexistent. This explains why the percentage is so much higher.
The poverty rate between the two towns and the state itself may explain the enormous number of white people over the age of 60. In Massachusetts, the poverty rate for white people is only 8.4 percent. This indicates that because white people have a much lower poverty rate than Asians and Blacks, they can afford better health care, which therefore gives them a longer life span. Cape Cod is famous for being a popular retirement community. People who live in poverty do not have the luxury of retiring and this explains both the low poverty rate in Sandwich and the amount of people above the age of sixty.
In the future, I believe that we will see the amount of white people over the age of sixty decreases because of the large number of minorities in Massachusetts, especially in the Boston area. As time goes on, these people will grow older and start filling the wide gap between their race and White people. Giving these minorities access to better health care may be the key to increasing their life span.