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The Economic Status of the Elderly

By: Robert L. Clark and Joseph F. Quinn
Published: May 1999
Medicare Brief No. 4 ~ May 1999

Summary: The economic status of the elderly improved greatly since the 1960s. This is true in terms of poverty rates, real cash income and broader income measures that include in-kind benefits. Yet, many older Americans remain at risk of economic deprivation, especially the less educated, those living alone, and the oldest old. Most elderly Americans rely heavily on Social Security and Medicare for their economic well-being.