UMass-Boston Report: Late Life Gender Disparities in Economic Security

Oct 25, 2023

National averages suggest that half of older women living alone, along with 42% of older men living alone, have annual incomes below the Elder Index, which is a list of measures developed by UMass-Boston to measure economic insecurity among older adults.

Now, UMass-Boston researchers have released a new report diving deeper into that data to highlight gender disparities in economic insecurity. The new research, “LATE-LIFE GENDER DISPARITIES IN ECONOMIC SECURITY:
Evidence from the 2022 Elder Index,” to¬†illustrate the elevated risk of economic insecurity experienced by older
women, especially those living alone.

The research shows that gender disparities are evident among same-sex couples as well: women in same-sex
couples experience higher disadvantage compared to men in same-sex couples, and people in different-sex couples. Women aged 85 or older are at especially high risk of economic insecurity, reflecting economic disadvantages experienced at the intersection of gender and age.

The data also shows that older single women are more likely to be economically insecure in Massachusetts than in any other state.

More data and findings are available in the full report here.