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A Profile of Older Americans: 2006


About 3.6 million elderly persons (10.1%) were below the poverty level in 2005. This poverty rate was not statistically significant from the poverty rate in 2004. The historic lowest level of 9.7% was reached in 1999. Another 2.3 million or 6.6% of the elderly were classified as "near-poor" (income between the poverty level and 125% of this level).

One of every twelve (7.9%) elderly Whites** was poor in 2005, compared to 23.2% of elderly African-Americans, 12.6% of Asians, and 19.9% of elderly Hispanics. Higher than average poverty rates were found in 2004 for older persons were found among those who lived in principal cities (12.7%), outside metropolitan areas (i.e. rural areas) (11.9%), and in the South (12.0%).

Older women had a higher poverty rate (12.3%) than older men (7.3%) in 2005. Older persons living alone were much more likely to be poor (19.1%) than were older persons living with families (5.6%). The highest poverty rates were experienced among Hispanic women (45.9%) and also by older Black women (36.7%) who lived alone.

(Based on data from Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005," P60 231, issued August, 2006, by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and related Census detailed tables on the Census Bureau website)

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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans 2006 - Housing