A Profile of Older Americans: 2004
About 3.6 million elderly persons (10.2%) were below the poverty level
in 2003. This poverty rate was not statistically different from the poverty
rate in 2002. The historic lowest level of 9.7% was reached in 1999.
Another 2.3 million or 6.7% of the elderly were classified as "near-poor" (income
between the poverty level and 125% of this level).
One of every twelve (8.8%) elderly Whites** was poor in 2003, compared
to 23.7% of elderly African-Americans,** 14.3% of Asians,** and 19.5%
of elderly Hispanics. Higher than average poverty rates for older persons
were found among those who lived in central cities (13.1%), outside metropolitan
areas (i.e. rural areas) (11.0%), and in the South (11.9%).
Older women had a higher poverty rate (12.5%) than older men (7.3%)
in 2003. Older persons living alone were much more likely to be poor
(18.6%) than were older persons living with families (5.8%). The highest
poverty rates (40.8%) were experienced by older Hispanic women who lived
Based on data from Current Population Survey, Annual Social and
Economic Supplement, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage
in the United States: 2003," P60‑226, issued August, 2004, by
the U.S. Bureau of the Census and related Census detailed tables on the
Census Bureau website
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Last Modified: 12/31/1600