Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



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


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Economic Policy | Gerontology | Social Welfare


New estimates from the 2019 Elder IndexTM reveal that in Massachusetts, more than 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, and health care. The Gerontology Institute compares household incomes for adults age 65 and above living in one- and two-person households to the 2019 Elder Index for Massachusetts 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. 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. Massachusetts ranks worst in the nation with respect to the percentage of singles with incomes below the statewide Elder Index, with 62% of singles living alone being economically insecure.


For more information about the Elder Index, including county-level Elder Index values, values for homeowners, and values for older adults in poor or in excellent health, see and

Community Engaged/Serving

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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.