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Statistics

A Profile of Older Americans: 2002

Income

The median income of older persons in 2001 was $19,688 for males and $11,313 for females. Real median income of older people (after adjusting for inflation) fell by -2.6% since 2000.

Households containing families headed by persons 65+ reported a median income in 2001 of $33,938 ($34,661 for Whites, $26,610 for African-Americans, and $24,287 for Hispanics). About one of every nine (10.7%) family households with an elderly householder had incomes less than $15,000 and 48.1% had incomes of $35,000 or more (Figure 7).


Figure 7: Percent Distribution by Income: 2001

Percent Distribution by Income in 2001 in family households with a 65 or older householder. Under $10,000 is 3.6 precent, between $10,000 and $$14,999 7.1 percent, between $15,000 and $24,999 21.2 percent, between $25,000 and $34,999 20.0 percent, between $35,000 and $49,999 18.3 percent, between $50,000 and $74,999 14.2 percent, and over $75,000 15.6 percent

$33,936 median for 11.6 million family households 65+

Persons 65 and older Reporting Income.  Under $5,000 6.5 percent, between $5,000 and $9,999 25.3 percent, between $10,000 and $14,999 21.6 percent, between $15,000 and $24,999 22.2 percent, between $25,000 and $34,999 9.8 percent, between $35,000 and $49,999 6.7 percent, and over $50,000 8.0 percent

$14,152 median for 32.9 million persons 65+ reporting income


For all older persons reporting income in 2001 (32.9 million), 31.8% reported less than $10,000. Only 31.2% reported $25,000 or more. The median income reported was $14,152.

The major sources of income as reported by the Social Security Administration for older persons in 2000 were Social Security (reported by 90% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 59%), public and private pensions (reported by 41%), and earnings (reported by 22%).

In 2000, Social Security benefits accounted for 38% of the aggregate income of the older population. The bulk of the remainder consisted of earnings (23%), assets (18%), and pensions (18%).

(Based on data from Current Population Reports, "Money Income in the United States: 2001," P60-218, issued September, 2002, by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, related Census Internet releases, and from the 2001 Annual Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin)

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600