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A Profile of Older Americans: 2009


The median income of older persons in 2008 was $25,503 for males and $14,559 for females. Median money income (after adjusting for inflation) of all households headed by older people did not change in a statistically significant amount from 2007 to 2008. Households containing families headed by persons 65+ reported a median income in 2008 of $44,188 ($46,527 for non-Hispanic Whites, $32,901 for Hispanics, $35,025 for African-Americans, and $48,859 for Asians). About one of every fourteen (7.3%) family households with an elderly householder had incomes less than $15,000 and 62.1% had incomes of $35,000 or more (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Percent Distribution by Income: 2008*

Figure 7F is a chart showing the the number of older persons in various categories of family household income for 2007. A few (7.3%) are in the two lowest categories (up to $15,000 ) Most are spread around the middle and upper categories. 26% earned $75,000 or more.

$44,188 median for 13.0 million family households 65+

Figure 7P is a chart showing personal income of older persons. 7.3% report under $10,000. About half are in the middle categories ($10,000 to $35,000). About 24% have personal incomes of $35,000 or more.
$18,337 median for 36.5 million persons 65+ reporting income

For all older persons reporting income in 2008 (36.5 million), 20.3% reported less than $10,000 and 36.3% reported $25,000 or more. The median income reported was $18,337.

The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2007 were Social Security (reported by 87% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 52%), private pensions (reported by 28%), government employee pensions (reported by 13%), and earnings (reported by 25%). In 2007, Social Security benefits accounted for 36% of the aggregate income of the older population. The bulk of the remainder consisted of earnings (29%), asset income (16%), and pensions (17%). Social Security constituted 90% or more of the income received by 35% of beneficiaries (21% of married couples and 44% of non-married beneficiaries).

(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, related Census detailed tables on the Census Bureau website, and from Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2009 Social Security Administration)

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