Poverty Among Elderly Women

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Elderly poverty rates fell from 75 to 15 percent between the years 1959 and 1974. In 2006, the rates reached 9.4 percent. It is estimated that if Social Security benefits did not exist, 44 percent of elderly would be poor today. Currently, though, 3.4 million elderly people 65 and older live in poverty.
Poverty does not affect elderly men and women equally. 11.5 percent of elderly women live at or below the poverty line, while only 6.6 percent of elderly men live in poverty. The risk for elderly women to go into poverty only increases as they age. In addition, women ages 75 and up are three times more likely to be in poverty.
Elderly people of color are more likely to experience poverty, too, though Social Security does play a role in raising

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