Old and Poor: By The Numbers

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Elderly Americans may be receiving a number of noncash benefits, such as food and housing assistance, but they also spend a large portion of their income on medical care and prescription drugs. Relying purely on Social Security income or low-paying jobs, many elderly have to dip into their finite savings to make ends meet. This is why when these expenses are taken into account in the supplemental poverty measurement, poverty among elderly people increased significantly to 15.9% from the 2010 census’s official rate of 9%. The vital statistics below show the grim reality this segment of the American population is facing.

Data visualization by Xin Hui Lim.
Research by Emily JudemXin Hui Lim, and Olivia B. Waxman.

The Ink also looked at the situation in Brooklyn’s 18 community districts. Click on the districts to find out the percentage of elderly people living below the poverty line.

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