Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



2022 Elder Index, older adults, economic insecurity, gender disparities, Massachusetts


Economic Policy | Gerontology | Social Policy | Social Welfare


Estimates from the 2022 Elder Index illustrate the elevated risk of economic insecurity experienced by older women, especially those living alone. We use the Elder Index to calculate the percentage of older adults living in one- and two-person households with annual incomes that do not support economic security. National averages suggest that half of older women living alone, along with 42% of older men living alone, have annual incomes below the Elder Index. In addition, 21% of older couples have annual incomes below the Elder Index. Women in same-sex couples experience greater levels of disadvantage than men in same-sex couples and people in opposite sex couples. Moreover, women who are age 85 or older are at especially high risk of economic insecurity. These findings highlight the sizable impact of gender inequality throughout the life course on retirement security.



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