Why Are So Many Older Women Poor?

Alicia H. Munnell

JTF#10

Introduction

The economic status of older Americans has improved dramatically since 1960. Today, the poverty rate for those 65 and over is about the same as for those aged 18-64. But substantial pockets of poverty remain, especially among older non-married women. This brief will focus on why older women are particularly vulnerable. It also reviews the outlook for the future, when the graying of the population will place increasing pressure on resources available for the elderly…