Elder Economic Security Standard Index, Elder Index, income, older adults, gender disparities
Economic Policy | Gender and Sexuality | Gerontology | 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 older women living alone. 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 57% of older women living alone, along with 46% of older men living alone, have annual incomes below the Elder Index. As well, 27% of older adults living in elder couple households (with an older spouse, partner, or some other older adult) have annual incomes below the Elder Index. 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, Gender Disparities in Insecurity, 2016" (2017). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 19.