A Profile of Older Americans: 2005
The median income of older persons in 2004 was $21,102 for males and $12,080 for females. Median money income of all households headed by older people rose by 0.3% from 2003 to 2004; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Households containing families headed by persons 65+ reported a median income in 2004 of $35,825 ($37,375 for non-Hispanic Whites, $26,282 for African-Americans, $40,120 for Asians, and $25,179 for Hispanics). About one of every ten (9.9%) family households with an elderly householder had incomes less than $15,000 and 51.5% had incomes of $35,000 or more (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Percent Distribution by Income: 2004*
$35,825 median for 12.1 million family households 65+
$15,193 median for 34.2 million persons 65+ reporting income
For all older persons reporting income in 2004 (34.2 million), 28.1% reported less than $10,000. Only 27.3% reported $25,000 or more. The median income reported was $15,193.
The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2003 were Social Security (reported by 90% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 56%), private pensions (reported by 30%), government employee pensions (reported by 14%), and earnings (reported by 23%). In 2003, Social Security benefits accounted for 39% of the aggregate income of the older population. The bulk of the remainder consisted of earnings (25%), asset income (14%), and pensions (19%). For one third of older Americans, Social Security constituted 90% or more of their income.
(Based on data from Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004," P60-229, issued August, 2005, by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, related Census detailed tables on the Census Bureau website, and from Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2005, Social Security Administration
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