Women's Bureau

Publication Date



The majority of older people in the United States, defined here as people 55 years old and older, are women (54 percent), and women outnumber men in this age group by 6.7 million. During the last three decades, the labor force participation of older women has grown rapidly and is projected to continue growing for the next 20 years. This fact sheet summarizes the data and research on older women that address the following questions: How does the educational attainment of older and younger women compare? In what occupations do older women work? What, if any, barriers to work do they face? What work supports do they need?


Suggested Citation
U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau. (2014). Older women and work: A fact sheet. Washington, DC: Author.