Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



race, ethnicity, economic security, poverty, older Americans


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Economics | Gerontology | Race and Ethnicity


New estimates from the 2019 Elder IndexTM highlight the risk of economic insecurity experienced by older adults, a risk that is especially high for persons of color. The Gerontology Institute compares the household incomes for adults age 65 and above living in one- and two-person households to the 2019 Elder 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. National averages suggest that among people living alone, 48% of older people who are White, 59% of those who are Asian, 64% of older people who are Black, and 72% of those who are Latino 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 persons of color than for Whites. These estimates suggest that nationally, at least 11 million adults age 65 or older struggle to make ends meet, facing financial challenges in their efforts to age in place and in community. In comparison to older Whites, disparities in economic security are especially high for Blacks and Latinos.


This report includes images from “The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia” a traveling exhibit and upcoming book by Joe Wallace.

Community Engaged/Serving

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



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