Raw Data: Projected Poverty Among the Elderly

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The current rate of poverty among the elderly is 9.8 percent, compared to 15.7 percent for those under age 65. But what about the future? The Social Security Administration projects that poverty rates will continue to decline for the elderly. About 7 percent of depression babies, who started retiring in 1990, currently live in poverty, compared to a forecast of 5.7 percent for Gen Xers, who will begin retiring in 2030. However, these averages hide some stark differences:

Not all groups are expected to do so well. Among high school dropouts, poverty rates are projected to increase from 13.5 percent to 24.9 percent…before declining to 18 percent for [GenXers]….Given the projected increase in minorities and immigrants, as well as the historic increase in women’s labor force participation, retirees with low labor force attachment are increasingly low-educated, low-skilled, and disabled. Not surprisingly, those retirees are projected to have very high poverty rates.

By 2030, SSA forecasts that poverty will be all but eradicated for every income group except one: the very poorest. This is unsurprising but nonetheless far-reaching in its policy implications: If you are poor during your working career you will continue to be poor when you retire. If not, then not. Our retirement programs should be set accordingly.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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