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Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities -- NORCs
  -- assessing distribution and characteristics & tools for analysis
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Decision-Making Information Blog
Examining Neighborhood Change



As of 2010, 25.8 million U.S. households had a head of household age 65 years or over; 22.1% of total households. 3.1 million households with head of household 65 years or over were located in 10,201 "naturally occurring retirement communities" (NORCs) -- areas where the percent of head of household age 65 or over is 40 percent or more. Will the number of NORCs triple by 2020?

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, 2010 (red fill pattern)

Click graphic for larger view labeled with number of NORC households.

A naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) is an area that naturally evolves over time to include a relatively large concentration of households where the householder is 65 years or older. NORCs evolve in or as neighborhoods generally on an unplanned basis. How are the more than 26 million households distributed as NORCs? How are they similar or dissimilar? What special needs do the population of some NORCs have compared to others? How will the evolvement of NORCs affect our society? This section is focused on U.S. national scope analysis of the size, distribution and characteristics of NORCs. Though unplanned, NORCs will continue to evolve as habitats that require decision-making information for planning.

Residents of NORCs may have requirements/needs that differ from other areas. These include transportation, social and education, assistance with household maintenance, healthcare and security. Demographics can help us assess the nature and magnitude of some of these needs and plan for improved solutions.

As of Census 2010, 25,819,836 households had a head of household age 65 years or over; 22.1% of total households. The Census 2010 U.S. size and distribution of households (occupied housing units) by age of head of householder is shown in the Summary File 1 Table 17 Tenure by Age of Householder. Using data from this table, households by tenure and different categories for age of head of household can be used in analyses.
Total households:116,716,292
  Owner occupied:75,986,074
    Householder 15 to 24 years869,610
    Householder 25 to 34 years7,547,421
    Householder 35 to 44 years13,255,629
    Householder 45 to 54 years17,804,066
    Householder 55 to 59 years8,626,564
    Householder 60 to 64 years7,876,168
    Householder 65 to 74 years10,834,028
    Householder 75 to 84 years6,788,967
    Householder 85 years and over2,383,621
  Renter occupied:40,730,218
    Householder 15 to 24 years4,531,189
    Householder 25 to 34 years10,409,954
    Householder 35 to 44 years8,035,251
    Householder 45 to 54 years7,102,998
    Householder 55 to 59 years2,701,749
    Householder 60 to 64 years2,135,857
    Householder 65 to 74 years2,670,489
    Householder 75 to 84 years1,927,400
    Householder 85 years and over1,215,331

NORCs & Block Group Demographics
Census block groups (BGs) are used to equivalence NORCs. Block groups average 1,500 in population and cover the U.S. wall-to-wall. Using a ProximityOne API, a dataset was developed containing the Census 2010 Table H17 data for each of the approximate 217,000 BGs. Those data were integrated into a national scope block group shapefile for mapping and geospatial analysis.

In 2010, 3.1 million households with head of household 65 years or over were located in 10,201 NORCs/BGs where the percent of head of households age 65 years and over is 40 percent or more. Each NORC/BG averages 307 households in this group.

Households versus Families
A family consists of two or more people (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption residing in the same housing unit. A household consists of all people who occupy a housing unit regardless of relationship. A household may consist of a person living alone or multiple unrelated individuals or families living together.

NORC Patterns and Visual Analysis
The illustrative views presented in the following scroll section were developed using the CV XE GIS and NORC GIS project. Kansas City area graphic (last in scroll section) shows mini-profile/datatable for a selected NORC/BG. Labels show the number of households in that NORC/BG with head of household age 65 or older as of Census 2010. For larger expanse views, labels may obscure actual NORC/BG area. Zoom-in views are enabled using GIS tools described below which allow you to depict small areas in great detail with streets, etc.
Washington, DC area NORCs, 2010 (red fill pattern)


Honolulu, HI area NORCs, 2010 (red fill pattern)


Houston, TX area NORCs, 2010 (red fill pattern)


Iowa NORCs, 2010 (red fill pattern; click graphic for larger view)



Kansas City, MO-KS area NORCs, 2010 (red fill pattern)
This view shows a mini-profile for a selected NORC (see pointer). The profile shows the 21 data field values from Census 2010 Summary File 1 Table H017 for this NORC/BG.


NORC/BG Richer Demographics
As of 2014, the Census 2010 demographics are the most up-to-date and accurate data available for block groups. The related American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates are available at the block group level and provide "richer demographics" compared with data available through Census 2010. The 2012 ACS 5-year estimates (latest available until December 2014) are centric to mid-2010. The ACS 5-year estimates can provide insights into employment, income, poverty, language spoken, educational attainment, disabilities, among other relevant measures.

Comparative Analysis Block Group Demographic-Economic Profile (scroll section)
Some NORCs are combinations of contiguous BGs. The following scroll section shows Kansas City area BGs 29-095-007300-3, 29-095-007400-2, 29-095-007400-3 and summary for the custom-defined area. The profile is generated with CV XE GIS; available for any combination of block groups nationally.
Geographic Area29-095-007300-329-095-007400-229-095-007400-3Summary
DescriptionValuePercentValuePercentValuePercentValuePercent

d001Total Population by Gender & Age (B01001)946100.00792100.00865100.002,603100.0
d002 .. Male57760.9941252.0229634.221,28549.4
d003 .. Female36939.0138047.9856965.781,31850.6
d004 .. Under 5 years00.0081.01333.82411.6
d005 .. 5 to 9 years00.0000.0000.0000.0
d006 .. 10 to 14 years00.0000.00151.73150.6
d007 .. 15 to 17 years00.0000.0000.0000.0
d008 .. 18 and 19 years00.00465.8114116.301877.2
d009 .. 20 years00.009411.8700.00943.6
d010 .. 21 years00.00475.9300.00471.8
d011 .. 22 to 24 years949.9414818.69738.4431512.1
d012 .. 25 to 29 years14615.4322728.66293.3540215.4
d013 .. 30 to 34 years9810.36425.3010812.492489.5
d014 .. 35 to 39 years555.81101.26242.77893.4
d015 .. 40 to 44 years586.13435.43293.351305.0
d016 .. 45 to 49 years919.62324.04424.861656.3
d017 .. 50 to 54 years889.3030.3811713.532088.0
d018 .. 55 to 59 years293.07344.29465.321094.2
d019 .. 60 and 61 years90.9500.00161.85251.0
d020 .. 62 to 64 years141.4800.00323.70461.8
d021 .. 65 and 66 years101.06354.42364.16813.1
d022 .. 67 to 69 years181.90101.26121.39401.5
d023 .. 70 to 74 years889.3000.00303.471184.5
d024 .. 75 to 79 years687.19121.5200.00803.1
d025 .. 80 to 84 years363.8100.00465.32823.2
d026 .. 85 years and over444.6510.13364.16813.1
d027 .. Median age 47.2... 26.6... 42.6...38.8...
Race (B02001) & Origin (B03003)
d028 Total Population946100.00792100.00865100.002,603100.0
d029 .. White alone76680.9761577.6577689.712,15782.9
d030 .. Black or African American alone848.88141.7700.00983.8
d031 .. American Indian and Alaska Native alone00.0000.00475.43471.8
d032 .. Asian alone838.7716320.58263.0127210.4
d033 .. Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander alone00.0000.0000.0000.0
d034 .. Some other race alone131.3700.00161.85291.1
d035 .. Two or more races00.0000.0000.0000.0
d036 .. Hispanic (B03003)131.3791.14789.021003.8
Households by Type (B11001)
d037 Total Households748100.00440100.00499100.001,687100.0
d038 .. Family households17222.994510.2318436.8740123.8
d039 .... Married couple family16321.794510.2313527.0534320.3
d040 .... Other family91.2000.00499.82583.4
d041 ...... Male householder, no wife present00.0000.00275.41271.6
d042 ...... Female householder, no husband present91.2000.00224.41311.8
d043 .. Nonfamily households57677.0139589.7731563.131,28676.2
d044 .... Householder living alone56175.0023854.0919939.8899859.2
d045 .... Householder not living alone152.0115735.6811623.2528817.1
d046 Households with children under 18 years (B11005)00.0081.82428.42503.0
d047 Households with persons 65 yrs or over (B11007)15821.124510.2314729.4635020.7
d048 Average Household Size (B25010/H012) 1.26... 1.63... 1.73...1.54...
d049 Average Household Size -- owner occupied 1.47... 1.69... 1.50...1.55...
d050 Average Household Size -- renter occupied 1.10... 1.60... 1.88...1.53...
d050a Population in Households (B11002/P029)946100.0071890.66865100.002,52997.2
School Enrollment
d051 Population 3 years and over946100.00784100.00845100.002,575100.0
d052 .. Enrolled in school:12613.3237147.3226331.1276029.5
d053 .. Enrolled in nursery school, preschool00.0000.00131.54130.5
d054 .... Public school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d055 .... Private school00.0000.00131.54130.5
d056 .. Enrolled in kindergarten:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d057 .... Public school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d058 .... Private school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d059 .. Enrolled in grade 1 to grade 4:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d060 .... Public school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d061 .... Private school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d062 .. Enrolled in grade 5 to grade 8:00.0000.00151.78150.6
d063 .... Public school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d064 .... Private school00.0000.00151.78150.6
d065 .. Enrolled in grade 9 to grade 12:00.0091.1500.0090.3
d066 .... Public school00.0000.0000.0000.0
d067 .... Private school00.0091.1500.0090.3
d068 .. Enrolled in college undergraduate9810.3613817.6015017.7538615.0
d069 .... Public school9810.36536.7691.071606.2
d070 .... Private school00.008510.8414116.692268.8
d071 .. Enrolled in graduate or profession282.9622428.578510.0633713.1
d072 .... Public school00.0014117.988510.062268.8
d073 .... Private school282.968310.5900.001114.3
d074 .. Not enrolled in school82086.6841352.6858268.881,81570.5
Educational Attainment (B15002)
d075 Population 25 years and over852100.00449100.00603100.001,904100.0
d076 .. No schooling completed00.0000.0000.0000.0
d077 .. Nursery to 4th Grade00.0000.0000.0000.0
d078 .. 5th and 6th Grade00.0000.0000.0000.0
d079 .. 7th and 8th Grade00.0010.2200.0010.1
d080 .. 9th Grade00.0000.0071.1670.4
d081 .. 10th Grade00.0092.0000.0090.5
d082 .. 11th Grade00.0000.0000.0000.0
d083 .. 12th, no diploma00.00122.6700.00120.6
d084 .. High School Graduate, GED, or alternative515.99163.567812.941457.6
d085 .. Some college, less than 1 year00.0000.00121.99120.6
d086 .. Some college, 1 or more years, no degree10812.689521.169916.4230215.9
d087 .. Associate's degree536.22173.79447.301146.0
d088 .. Bachelor's degree28333.2212126.9512120.0752527.6
d089 .. Master's degree22226.0614532.2915826.2052527.6
d090 .. Professional school degree12014.08245.35609.9520410.7
d091 .. Doctorate degree151.7692.00243.98482.5
Language Spoken at Home (B16004)
d092 Population 5 years and over946100.00784100.00832100.002,562100.0
d093 .. Population 5 to 17 years:00.0000.00151.80150.6
d094 .. Speak only English00.0000.00151.80150.6
d095 .. Speak Spanish:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d096 .... Speak English "not well"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d097 .... Speak English "not at all"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d098 .. Speak other Indo-European languages:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d099 .... Speak English "not well"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d100 .... Speak English "not at all"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d101 .. Speak Asian and Pacific Island languages:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d102 .... Speak English "not well"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d103 .... Speak English "not at all"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d104 .. Speak other languages:00.0000.0000.0000.0
d105 .... Speak English "not well"00.0000.0000.0000.0
d106 .... Speak English "not at all"00.0000.0000.0000.0
Household Income Past 12 Months (B19001)
d107 Households748100.00440100.00499100.001,687100.0
d108 .. Less than $10,0009612.8310724.327214.4327516.3
d109 .. $10,000 to $14,99900.0000.00102.00100.6
d110 .. $15,000 to $19,999314.145712.95234.611116.6
d111 .. $20,000 to $24,999405.35296.597014.031398.2
d112 .. $25,000 to $29,999456.0292.0500.00543.2
d113 .. $30,000 to $34,999729.6300.00255.01975.7
d114 .. $35,000 to $39,99900.00306.8200.00301.8
d115 .. $40,000 to $44,999111.4700.00173.41281.7
d116 .. $45,000 to $49,999152.01378.41102.00623.7
d117 .. $50,000 to $59,999304.01276.14142.81714.2
d118 .. $60,000 to $74,999567.49368.186312.631559.2
d119 .. $75,000 to $99,999405.355211.8200.00925.5
d120 .. $100,000 to $124,99991.20214.77204.01503.0
d121 .. $125,000 to $149,999587.7500.00479.421056.2
d122 .. $150,000 to $199,9998411.23184.0981.601106.5
d123 .. $200,000 or more16121.52173.8612024.0529817.7
d124 .. Median Household Income (B19003)73,333...37,045...60,817...57,065
Other Income and Poverty Measures
d125 .. Median Family Income (B19113)156,023...74,896...69,500...100,140
d126 .. Per Capita Income (B19301)91,290...30,769...82,077...68,045
d127 .. All families (B17010)172100.0045100.00184100.00401100.0
d128 .... With income past 12 months below poverty leve00.0000.003217.39328.0
d129 ...... Married-couple family (in poverty)00.0000.00105.43102.5
d130 ........ With related children under 18 yrs00.0000.0000.0000.0
Employment Status (B23025)
d133 Population 16 years and over946100.00784100.00817100.002,547100.0
d134 .. In labor force70274.2158574.6260373.811,89074.2
d135 .... In Armed Forces00.0000.0000.0000.0
d136 .... Civilian70274.2158574.6260373.811,89074.2
d137 ...... Employed57961.2157373.0948058.751,63264.1
d138 ...... Unemployed12313.00121.5312315.0625810.1
d139 .. Not in labor force24425.7919925.3821426.1965725.8
d140 Housing Units (B25001)828100.00531100.00567100.001,926
d141 .. Occupied housing units74890.3444082.8649988.011,68787.6
d142 .... Owner-occupied housing units32739.4917332.5819534.3969536.1
d143 .... Renter-occupied housing units42150.8526750.2830453.6299251.5
d144 .. Vacant housing units809.669117.146811.9923912.4
d145 .... For Rent00.009117.1400.00914.7
d146 .... For seasonal, recreational, occasional use414.9500.0000.00412.1
Units in Structure (B25024)0.0
d147 Total Housing Units828100.00531100.00567100.001,926100.0
d148 .. 1, detached232.789618.08396.881588.2
d149 .. 1, attached495.92122.26152.65763.9
d150 .. 2121.45203.7700.00321.7
d151 .. 3 or 400.0017132.2013022.9330115.6
d152 .. 5 to 900.00468.6611019.401568.1
d153 .. 10 to 1900.008315.63457.941286.6
d154 .. 20 to 499411.357814.6911119.5828314.7
d155 .. 50 or more65078.50254.7111720.6379241.1
d156 .. Mobile home00.0000.0000.0000.0
d157 .. Boat, RV, van, etc.00.0000.0000.0000.0
Year Structure Built (B25024)
d158 Total Housing Units828100.00531100.00567100.001,926100.0
d159 .. Built 2005 or later101.21142.6411219.751367.1
d160 .. Built 2000 to 200400.0000.009616.93965.0
d161 .. Built 1990 to 199991.0981.51111.94281.5
d162 .. Built 1980 to 1989151.81397.3400.00542.8
d163 .. Built 1970 to 19798610.399317.51162.8219510.1
d164 .. Built 1960 to 196918722.589517.896210.9334417.9
d165 .. Built 1950 to 1959536.4081.51488.471095.7
d166 .. Built 1940 to 1949414.955510.36193.351156.0
d167 .. Built 1939 or earlier42751.5721941.2420335.8084944.1
d168 Median Year Structure Built1,939...1,948...1,962...1,950
Value (B25075)
d169 Owner-Occupied Housing Units327100.00173100.00195100.00695100.0
d170 .. Less than $10,00000.0000.0000.0000.0
d171 .. $10,000 to $14,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d172 .. $15,000 to $19,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d173 .. $20,000 to $24,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d174 .. $25,000 to $29,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d175 .. $30,000 to $34,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d176 .. $35,000 to $39,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d177 .. $40,000 to $49,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d178 .. $50,000 to $59,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d179 .. $60,000 to $69,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d180 .. $70,000 to $79,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d181 .. $80,000 to $89,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d182 .. $90,000 to $99,99900.00116.3600.00111.6
d183 .. $100,000 to $124,99992.75148.09157.69385.5
d184 .. $125,000 to $149,99900.003218.50115.64436.2
d185 .. $150,000 to $174,99900.002112.1400.00213.0
d186 .. $175,000 to $199,999154.5900.002311.79385.5
d187 .. $200,000 to $249,9996218.962514.452613.3311316.3
d188 .. $250,000 to $299,9994413.4600.0000.00446.3
d189 .. $300,000 to $399,9998124.772715.6184.1011616.7
d190 .. $400,000 to $499,999247.343117.9200.00557.9
d191 .. $500,000 to $749,999278.26126.947538.4611416.4
d192 .. $750,000 to $999,9995215.9000.00126.15649.2
d193 .. $1,000,000 or more133.9800.002512.82385.5
d194 Median Housing Value (owner-occupied units)341,400...217,000...548,300...368,900
Gross Rent (B25063)
d195 Renter-Occupied Housing Units421100.00267100.00304100.00992100.0
d196 With Cash Rent38892.1625394.76304100.0094595.3
d197 .. Less than $10000.0000.0000.0000.0
d198 .. $100 to $14900.0000.0000.0000.0
d199 .. $150 to $199122.8500.0000.00121.2
d200 .. $200 to $24900.0000.0000.0000.0
d201 .. $250 to $29900.0000.0000.0000.0
d202 .. $300 to $34900.0000.0000.0000.0
d203 .. $350 to $39900.0000.0000.0000.0
d204 .. $400 to $44900.0000.0000.0000.0
d205 .. $450 to $49900.00103.7500.00101.0
d206 .. $500 to $54900.006423.9700.00646.5
d207 .. $550 to $59911026.1300.004414.4715415.5
d208 .. $600 to $649399.2683.0082.63555.5
d209 .. $650 to $699276.413513.1192.96717.2
d210 .. $700 to $74911226.6000.00216.9113313.4
d211 .. $750 to $79992.14165.993110.20565.6
d212 .. $800 to $899153.564014.988828.9514314.4
d213 .. $900 to $99900.00176.373611.84535.3
d214 .. $1,000 to $1,249276.414316.10103.29808.1
d215 .. $1,250 to $1,499266.18207.4972.30535.3
d216 .. $1,500 to $1,99900.0000.0000.0000.0
d217 .. $2,000 or more112.6100.005016.45616.1
d218 No Cash Rent337.84145.2400.00474.7
d219 Median Gross Rent (renter-occupied; cash rent)703...780...844...776


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