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A Profile of Older Americans: 2008


About 3.6 million elderly persons (9.7%) were below the poverty level in 2007. This poverty rate is a statistically significant increase from the poverty rate in 2006 (9.4%). Another 2.4 million or 6.4% of the elderly were classified as "near-poor" (income between the poverty level and 125% of this level).

One of every fourteen (7.4%) elderly Whites** was poor in 2007, compared to 23.2% of elderly African-Americans, 11.3% of Asians, and 17.1% of elderly Hispanics. Higher than average poverty rates were found in 2006 for older persons were found among those who lived in principal cities (12.2%), outside metropolitan areas (i.e. rural areas and small towns) (10.8%), and in the South (10.8%).

Older women had a higher poverty rate (12.0%) than older men (6.6%) in 2007. Older persons living alone were much more likely to be poor (17.8%) than were older persons living with families (5.6%). The highest poverty rates were experienced among Hispanic women (39.5%) who lived alone and also by older Black women (39.0%) 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: 2007," P60 235, issued August, 2008, 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 2008 - Housing