Elder Economic Security Standard Index, Elder Index, income, older adults, racial and ethnic disparities
Economic Policy | Gerontology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Welfare
New estimates from the 2016 Elder Economic Security StandardTM Index highlight the high risk of economic insecurity experienced by older adults, a risk that is especially high for racial and ethnic minorities. The Gerontology Institute compares the 2016 household incomes for adults age 65 and above living in one- and two-person households to the 2016 Elder Economic Security StandardTM Index for each state and Washington, DC to calculate Elder Economic Insecurity Rates (EEIRs), the percentage of independent older adults age 65 or older living in households with annual incomes that do not support economic security. The EEIRs allow state and local governments to better understand and benchmark how many and which groups of older adults are at risk of financial instability. National averages suggest that among older adults living alone, half of non-Hispanic Whites, along with 61% of Asians, two-thirds of African Americans, and nearly three-quarters of Hispanics have annual incomes below the Elder Index. The risk of economic insecurity is lower among couples than among singles, but is still substantially higher for racial and ethnic minorities than for non-Hispanic Whites. Together, these estimates suggest that nationally, a minimum of 10 million adults age 65 or older struggle to make ends meet, facing financial challenges in their efforts to age in place and in community.
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Mutchler, Jan; Li, Yang; and Ku, Ping, "Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and Older Americans, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Insecurity, 2016" (2017). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 18.