Like much of the country, New York is getting older. Today, New York State is home to the third-largest senior population in nation, with more than 2.9 million New Yorkers 65 years of age or older. In New York City, the population of residents ages 60 and older is expected to reach 1.86 million by 2040, a rise of 22 percent from 2013.
Many of these older New Yorkers face economic hardship. In New York City, nearly one in five seniors (18 percent) lives in poverty– twice the national average of 9 percent– with older women and seniors of color particularly hard hit. Even seniors who aren’t in poverty struggle to make ends meet, with 80 percent of New York’s senior households having no meaningful retirement income beyond Social Security.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that many seniors anticipate being forced to leave New York upon retirement. A recent survey by AARP found that two-thirds of New York City voters aged 35-50 say they are “concerned about being able to pay for the cost of housing in the future,” with 66 percent of Generation X and 56 percent of Boomers stating that there is a “strong likelihood” that they will leave New York during retirement.
As a result of these pressures, many New York seniors are turning to home sharing– either to supplement their fixed income, remain in their homes, or simply enjoy the company of travelers from across the country and around the world.
This new report highlights the extraordinary growth of Airbnb’s senior host community in the Empire State–a group that grew faster than any other age bracket between 2015-2016. Collectively, over 3,000 hosts earned nearly $20 million in supplemental income to age in place, support their families, and make ends meet in retirement.
Other key findings include:
- In NYC, seniors are also the fastest growing segment of the host community, rising 60 percent in the past year.
- The typical senior host in New York shared their home for 37 nights in the last year, generating $7,100 to supplement their Social Security and retirement savings.
- Growth in the senior host community was particularly strong in Buffalo (up 124 percent), The Bronx (up 120 percent), Queens (up 119 percent), Albany (up 100 percent), and the Adirondacks (up 92 percent).
- Senior women hosts are driving the growth, representing about two-thirds of senior hosts in New York.
- Senior hosts are the highest rated hosts on the Airbnb platform, with 78 percent of reviews receiving 5-star ratings in 2015.