More Older Americans are Poor than the Official Measure Suggests

Brief

More Older Americans are Poor than the Official Measure Suggests

Abstract

The Census Bureaus official poverty measure no longer reflects the true resources or needs of adults age 65 and older. Recent consumption data show that older adults generally require more to cover their basic needs and economic data show that older adults have more resources than are reflected in the official poverty measure. This paper shows the sensitivity of poverty rates for older adults to alternative measures of consumption needs and income resources. The alternative measures all show that number of older adults living in poverty is greater than the official measure indicates.

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