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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  3. Never
    Beneficiaries
  4. Taxable Maximum
    Earners
  5. Veteran
    Beneficiaries

Marital Status & Poverty

Released: March 2015
Next expected update: Winter 2017
  • The never-married elderly (aged 65 or older) have the highest poverty rate among all marital groups, followed by those who are divorced and widowed.
  • The overall elderly poverty rate is two-thirds higher among women than men with 11 percent of women in poverty compared with less than 7 percent of men. Unmarried women—including those who are widowed, divorced, and never married—are significantly more likely than unmarried men to be poor.
  • The unmarried elderly are disproportionately poorer than the married elderly. Never-married individuals represent about 5 percent of the elderly, but 10 percent of the elderly poor. Likewise, divorced individuals make up 11 percent of the elderly and 20 percent of the elderly poor.
Poverty rates of persons aged 65 or older, by marital status and sex, 2012
Percentage below 100% of poverty
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
Elderly by marital status, 2012
Percentage
Pie chart with four categories: Married, 58%. Widowed, 26%. Divorced, 11%. Never married, 5%.
Elderly poor by marital status, 2012
Percentage
Pie chart with four categories: Married, 29%. Widowed, 41%. Divorced, 20%. Never married, 10%.