What Will Happen to Poverty Rates Among Older Americans in the Future and Why?

Brief

What Will Happen to Poverty Rates Among Older Americans in the Future and Why?

November 1, 2005

Abstract

Poverty rates among the elderly have declined sharply over the past 50 years. We project that the poverty rate for the 62 and older population will continue to decline because of projected growth in real earnings. But we also project that relative poverty--the share of people who fall below an unchanging percentage of average income--will increase. The two main sources of higher relative poverty are the increased share of retirees who are single and divorced and the reduced growth in benefits associated with the increase in the Social Security normal retirement age. [View the corresponding press release]

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