New estimates from the 2020 Elder Index, developed by UMass-Boston’s Gerontology Institute, illustrate the elevated risk of economic insecurity experienced by older women, especially those living alone.
National averages suggest that 54% of older women living alone, along with 45% of older men living alone, have annual incomes below the Elder Index. In addition, 24% of older adults living in couple households have annual incomes below the Elder Index. The gender gap in economic security is especially high in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. According to the analysis, life-long patterns of inequality in work experiences and wealth accumulation contribute to substantial gender disparities in retirement security.
For more information on this research, visit the UMass-Boston Report, Late-life Gender Disparities in Economic Security in the Context of Geography, Race and Ethnicity , Race and Ethnicity, and Age: Evidence from the 2020 Elder Index.