Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



elders, economic security, older adults, demography of aging populations


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Economic Policy | Gerontology


New estimates from the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard IndexTM suggest that half of older adults living alone, and one out of four older adults living in two-elder households, lack the financial resources required to pay for basic needs. 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 Standard IndexTM 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 older adults are at risk of financial instability. National averages suggest that 53% of older adults living alone, and 26% 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 value. In every state, more than four out of ten elder singles are at risk of being unable to afford basic needs and age in their own homes.


This report was prepared by the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, in consultation with staff from the National Council on Aging.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.


Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston



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