The Development of Social Security in America

by Larry DeWitt
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 3, 2010
Table equivalent for Chart 1. Growth in U.S. population aged 65 or older, selected years 1870–1940
Year Number of persons aged 65 or older
1870 1,153,649
1880 1,723,459
1890 2,417,288
1900 3,080,498
1910 3,949,524
1920 4,933,215
1930 6,633,805
1940 9,019,314
 
Table equivalent for Chart 2. Growth in Social Security coverage, selected years 1935–2007
Year Percent of civilian workers covered by Social Security
1935 45.00
1939 55.10
1940 55.00
1944 60.20
1945 60.00
1949 60.50
1950 60.00
1955 83.00
1960 86.20
1965 87.60
1970 89.90
1975 90.60
1980 90.00
1985 92.90
1990 94.80
1995 94.50
2000 94.40
2007 93.60
 
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Trust fund reserves: Actual and projected, selected years 1983–2037
Year Trust fund reserves (dollars in billions)
1983 25
1985 42
1990 225
1995 496
2000 1049
2005 1,858
2010 2650
2015 3,049
2020 3,146
2025 2,757
2030 1,833
2035 429
2037 0
 
Table equivalent for Chart 4. Poverty among the elderly, selected years 1935–2008
Year Percent of the elderly who are in poverty
1935 50.0
1959 35.2
1966 28.5
1967 29.5
1968 25.0
1969 25.3
1970 24.6
1971 21.6
1972 18.6
1973 16.3
1974 14.6
1975 15.3
1976 15.0
1977 14.1
1978 14.0
1979 15.2
1980 15.7
1981 15.3
1982 14.6
1983 13.8
1984 12.4
1985 12.6
1986 12.4
1987 12.5
1988 12.0
1989 11.4
1990 12.2
1991 12.4
1992 12.9
1993 12.2
1994 11.7
1995 10.5
1996 10.8
1997 10.5
1998 10.5
1999 9.7
2000 9.9
2001 10.1
2002 10.4
2003 10.2
2004 9.8
2005 10.1
2006 9.4
2007 9.7
2008 9.7