Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



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


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Economic Policy | Gerontology


New estimates from the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard IndexTM reveal that in Massachusetts, six out of ten older adults living alone, and three out of ten living in two-person households, cannot afford the basic necessities of life such as food, housing in a safe community and health care. The Gerontology Institute compares 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 Massachusetts to calculate Elder Economic Insecurity Rates (EEIRs), the percentage of independent adults age 65 or older living in households with annual incomes that make them economically insecure. The EEIRs allow state and local governments to better understand and benchmark how many and which older adults are at risk of financial instability. With an EEIR of 61%, Massachusetts ranks near the top among the states in percentage of singles with incomes below the statewide Elder Index value, second only to Mississippi. In every state, more than four out of ten older 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.



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