Research & Analysis by Matthew Rassette

Trends in the Economic Status of the Elderly, 1976–2000
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64, No. 3 (released January 2003)
by Thomas Hungerford, Matthew Rassette, Howard M. Iams, and Melissa Koenig

The elderly (persons aged 65 or older) are financially better off than ever before. Overall, poverty rates for the elderly have fallen since 1976, median real income has risen, and median income relative to that of the working-age population has been relatively stable. One factor in these improvements is increases in Social Security benefits that generally pay enough to keep independently living elderly persons out of poverty. Most demographic subgroups have shared the reduction in poverty rates. By all measures, however, the economic status of elderly Hispanics has not improved.