Skip Navigation
Link to HHS Website Department of Health & Human Services
Link to Administration on Aging HomePage
  Home > Aging Statistics > Profile of Older Americans
About AoA
Press Room
Elders & Families
Emergency Preparedness
Aging Statistics
AoA Programs
Program Results
Grant Opportunities
AoA Funded Resource Centers

A Profile of Older Americans: 2009


Almost 3.7 million elderly persons (9.7%) were below the poverty level in 2008. This poverty rate is not statistically different from the poverty rate in 2007 (9.7%). Another 2.4 million or 6.3% of the elderly were classified as "near-poor" (income between the poverty level and 125% of this level).

One of every fourteen (7.6%) elderly Whites** was poor in 2008, compared to 20.0% of elderly African-Americans, 11.1% of Asians, and 19.3% of elderly Hispanics. Higher than average poverty rates were found in 2006 for older persons were found among those who lived in principal cities (12.6%), outside metropolitan areas (i.e. rural areas and small towns) (11.2%), and in the South (11.2%).

Older women had a higher poverty rate (11.9%) than older men (6.7%) in 2008. Older persons living alone were much more likely to be poor (17.1%) than were older persons living with families (3.0%). The highest poverty rates were experienced among Hispanic women (43.1%) who lived alone and also by older Black women (34.7%) 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: 2008," P60‑236, issued September, 2009, by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and related Census detailed tables on the Census Bureau website)

Back to Previous | Main | Next

AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans 2009 - Housing