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A Profile of Older Americans: 2007

Poverty

About 3.4 million elderly persons (9.4%) were below the poverty level in 2006. This poverty rate is a statistically significant decrease from the poverty rate in 2005 (10.1%).  This 2006 poverty rate is lower than the previous historic lowest level of 9.7% which was reached in 1999 but this difference is not statistically significant.  Another 2.2 million or 6.2% of the elderly were classified as "near-poor" (income between the poverty level and 125% of this level).

One of every fourteen (7.0%) elderly Whites** was poor in 2006, compared to 22.7% of elderly African-Americans, 12.0% of Asians, and 19.4% of elderly Hispanics. Higher than average poverty rates were found in 2006 for older persons were found among those who lived in principal cities (12.7%), outside metropolitan areas (i.e. rural areas and small towns) (11.0%), and in the South (11.7%).

Older women had a higher poverty rate (11.5%) than older men (6.6%) in 2006. Older persons living alone were much more likely to be poor (16.9%) than were older persons living with families (5.6%).  The highest poverty rates were experienced among Hispanic women (40.5%) who lived alone and also by older Black women (37.5%) 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: 2006," P60‑233, issued August, 2007,  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 2007 - Housing