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Population Projections

  1. American
    Indians and
    Alaska Natives
  2. Divorced
    Spousal
    Beneficiaries
  3. Early
    Eligibility Age
    Beneficiaries
  4.  Lifetime 
    Low
    Earners

  5.  Oldest 
    Old
  6.  Sporadic 
    Low
    Earners
  7. Spousal-
    Only
    Beneficiaries
  8. Survivor-
    Only
    Beneficiaries
  9. Women
    & Dual
    Entitlement

The Oldest Old in 2050

Methodology »
Released: August 2021
Next expected update: 2023

DEFINITION: The oldest old are beneficiaries aged 85 or older in a given year. Projections for beneficiaries aged 60 or older are provided for comparison.

In 2050, we project that:

  • The oldest old will include more women and widows, but fewer disabled, than those aged 60 or older.
  • The median benefit amount will be higher for the oldest old than for those aged 60 or older.
  • The poverty rate will be lower for the oldest old compared with those aged 60 or older.
Chart. Title: Population Characteristics: Percentage with characteristic. Pie chart series with tabular version below.
Show as table
Table equivalent for chart: Population Characteristics
Characteristic Aged 60 or older Aged 85 or older
Number of beneficiaries 84 million 17 million
Women 53% 58%
Race/ethnicity  
White 63% 74%
Black 10% 8%
All other races 8% 7%
Hispanic origin 19% 10%
Ever disabled 12% 4%
Widowed 19% 37%
Chart. Title: Median Benefit Amount: In 2021 dollars. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Median Benefit Amount (in 2021 dollars)
Under– Aged 60 or older Aged 85 or older
Scheduled benefits 1,937 2,037
Payable benefits 1,549 1,629
Chart. Title: Poverty Rate: Percentage in poverty. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Poverty Rate (percentage in poverty)
Under— Aged 60 or older Aged 85 or older
Scheduled benefits 4.0 2.9
Payable benefits 6.8 5.4

SOURCE: Modeling Income in the Near Term, Version 8 (MINT8) microsimulation model using 2019 Trustees Report intermediate assumptions.