There are more people 65 years of age and older in the United States than ever before as the growth rate in the population exceed the national average, according to the new data released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

By 2010, the population of Americans in the age group increased by more than 5 million since the 2000 Census, topping 40.3 million, the Bureau said.

The age group grew 15.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, whereas the total U.S. population grew 9.7 percent.

The growth in the number of people aged 65 and older was observed in 49 states, with Rhode Island being the only state that exhibited a decline.

As the first of the baby boomers turn 65 this year, the bureau predicts that there will be greater change in major growth of the older population in the years to come.

“Future growth of the older population is both highly probable and unprecedented in the United States,” the Census report stated.