Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2017

Percentage of aged units receiving income, by source
Income source 1962 2015
Social Security 69 84
Asset income 54 63
Earnings 36 29
Private pensions 9 37
Government employee pensions 9 16
SOURCES: Data for 1962 are from SSA, The Aged Population of the United States: The 1963 Social Security Survery of the Aged (1967). Data for 2015 are SSA calculations from the March 2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.
NOTE: An aged unit is a married couple living together or a nonmarried person, which also includes persons who are separated or married but not living together.
Percentage distribution of aggregate income, by source
Income source 1962 2015
Social Security 31 33
Earnings 29 34
Asset income 16 9
Government employee pensions 6 8
Private pensions 3 12
Other 15 4
SOURCES: Data for 1962 are from SSA, The Aged Population of the United States: The 1963 Social Security Survey of the Aged (1967). Data for 2015 are SSA calculations from the March 2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.
NOTE: The unit of analysis is the aged unit, defined as a married couple living together or a nonmarried person, which also includes persons who are separated or married but not living together.
Poverty status, by marital status, sex of nonmarried persons, race, and Hispanic origin, 2015 (in percent)
Characteristic Poor Near poor
All persons 8.8 5.0
By marital status
Married 4.4 2.5
Nonmarried men 12.9 6.0
Nonmarried women 15.3 9.1
By race and Hispanic origin
White alone a 7.5 4.6
Black alone a 18.4 7.7
Hispanic 17.5 8.2
SOURCE: SSA calculations from the March 2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.
a. Current Population Survey respondents may identify themselves in more than one racial group. The “white alone” and “black alone” categories reflect respondents who reported only one race.
Taxable earnings as a percentage of earnings in covered employment and percentage of workers with maximum taxable earnings, selected years
Year Taxable earnings Workers with maximum taxable earnings
1937 92.0 3.1
1945 87.9 13.7
1955 80.3 25.6
1965 71.3 36.1
1975 84.4 15.0
1985 88.9 6.5
1995 85.8 5.8
2005 84.1 6.1
2015 82.5 5.8
2016 82.8 6.4
SOURCE: SSA, Office of the Chief Actuary.
Percentage of population in the Social Security area fully insured and insured for disability benefits, by sex
Sex 1970 2016
Fully insured
Men 93 89
Women 63 85
Insured for disability a
Men 84 78
Women 41 73
SOURCE: SSA, Office of the Chief Actuary.
NOTES: The population in the Social Security area includes residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia adjusted for net census undercount; civilian residents of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands; federal civilian employees and persons in the U.S. armed forces abroad and their dependents; noncitizens living abroad who are insured for Social Security benefits; and all other U.S. citizens abroad.
Figures are subject to revision.
a. Insured for disability excludes those who have reached full retirement age.
New awards to retired and disabled workers (in thousands)
Year Retired workers Disabled workers
1976 1,475.77 551.46
1977 1,593.63 568.87
1978 1,472.79 464.42
1979 1,590.85 416.71
1980 1,612.67 396.56
1981 1,578.99 351.85
1982 1,618.41 297.13
1983 1,669.74 311.55
1984 1,607.37 362.00
1985 1,690.49 377.37
1986 1,734.25 416.87
1987 1,681.72 415.85
1988 1,654.07 409.49
1989 1,656.74 425.58
1990 1,664.75 467.98
1991 1,695.35 536.43
1992 1,707.95 636.64
1993 1,661.28 635.24
1994 1,625.35 631.87
1995 1,609.17 645.83
1996 1,581.45 624.34
1997 1,718.62 587.42
1998 1,631.51 608.13
1999 1,690.02 620.49
2000 1,960.65 621.65
2001 1,779.23 691.31
2002 1,812.55 750.00
2003 1,791.32 777.46
2004 1,883.06 795.78
2005 2,000.16 829.69
2006 1,999.02 798.68
2007 2,035.78 804.79
2008 2,279.00 877.23
2009 2,739.97 970.70
2010 2,634.44 1,026.99
2011 2,577.65 998.98
2012 2,735.01 960.21
2013 2,794.29 868.97
2014 2,771.93 778.80
2015 2,838.99 741.48
2016 2,910.75 706.45
SOURCE: SSA, Master Beneficiary Record, 100 percent data.
Average age of disabled-worker and retired-worker beneficiaries, selected years
Year Retired-worker beneficiaries Disabled-worker beneficiaries
1960 72.4 57.2
1965 72.5 54.7
1970 72.3 54.2
1975 72.3 53.8
1980 72.4 53.2
1985 72.8 52.1
1990 73.1 50.5
1995 73.6 49.8
2000 73.9 50.8
2005 73.9 51.8
2010 73.7 52.8
2015 73.7 53.9
2016 73.8 54.2
SOURCE: SSA, Master Beneficiary Record, 10 percent sample for 1990–2005 and 100 percent data for all other years.
Women as a percentage of retired-worker and disabled-worker beneficiaries, selected years
Year Retired-worker benficiaries Disabled-worker benficiaries
1940 11.6 --
1950 17.1 --
1957 -- 19.1
1960 35.3 21.8
1970 42.4 28.4
1980 46.5 32.6
1990 47.7 34.7
2000 48.2 43.3
2010 49.0 47.0
2016 50.0 48.8
SOURCE: SSA, Master Beneficiary Record, 100 percent data.
NOTE: -- = not available.
Number and average monthly benefit for children receiving OASDI, by type of beneficiary, December 2016
Type of beneficiary Number (thousands) Average monthly benefit (dollars)
Children of retired workers 353 639
Children of disabled workers 1,544 345
Children of deceased workers 1,238 829
SOURCE: SSA, Master Beneficiary Record, 100 percent data.
Persons receiving federally administered SSI payments, December (in millions)
Year Total Under 18 18–64 65 or older
1974 4.0 0.1 1.5 2.4
1975 4.3 0.1 1.7 2.5
1976 4.2 0.1 1.7 2.4
1977 4.2 0.1 1.7 2.4
1978 4.2 0.2 1.7 2.3
1979 4.1 0.2 1.7 2.2
1980 4.1 0.2 1.7 2.2
1981 4.0 0.2 1.7 2.1
1982 3.9 0.2 1.7 2.0
1983 3.9 0.2 1.7 2.0
1984 4.0 0.2 1.8 2.0
1985 4.1 0.2 1.9 2.0
1986 4.3 0.2 2.0 2.0
1987 4.4 0.3 2.1 2.0
1988 4.5 0.3 2.2 2.0
1989 4.6 0.3 2.3 2.0
1990 4.8 0.3 2.4 2.1
1991 5.1 0.4 2.6 2.1
1992 5.6 0.6 2.9 2.1
1993 6.0 0.7 3.1 2.1
1994 6.3 0.8 3.3 2.1
1995 6.5 0.9 3.5 2.1
1996 6.6 1.0 3.6 2.1
1997 6.5 0.9 3.6 2.1
1998 6.6 0.9 3.6 2.0
1999 6.6 0.8 3.7 2.0
2000 6.6 0.8 3.7 2.0
2001 6.7 0.9 3.8 2.0
2002 6.8 0.9 3.9 2.0
2003 6.9 1.0 4.0 2.0
2004 7.0 1.0 4.0 2.0
2005 7.1 1.0 4.1 2.0
2006 7.2 1.1 4.2 2.0
2007 7.4 1.1 4.2 2.0
2008 7.5 1.2 4.3 2.0
2009 7.7 1.2 4.5 2.0
2010 7.9 1.2 4.6 2.0
2011 8.1 1.3 4.8 2.1
2012 8.3 1.3 4.9 2.1
2013 8.4 1.3 4.9 2.1
2014 8.3 1.3 4.9 2.1
2015 8.3 1.3 4.9 2.2
2016 8.3 1.2 4.8 2.2
SOURCE: SSA, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.
Percentage distribution of SSI recipients, by age, December
Year Under 18 18–64 65 or older
1974 1.8 37.6 60.6
1975 2.5 39.4 58.1
1976 3.0 40.5 56.6
1977 3.5 41.0 55.5
1978 3.9 41.4 54.6
1979 4.3 41.6 54.1
1980 4.6 41.8 53.6
1981 4.8 42.4 52.8
1982 5.0 42.9 52.1
1983 5.1 43.6 51.3
1984 5.3 44.2 50.6
1985 5.5 45.4 49.1
1986 5.6 47.1 47.3
1987 5.7 48.3 46.0
1988 5.7 49.3 44.9
1989 5.8 50.1 44.1
1990 6.4 50.9 42.7
1991 7.8 51.6 40.6
1992 10.0 52.3 37.7
1993 12.1 52.6 35.3
1994 13.4 53.0 33.7
1995 14.1 53.5 32.5
1996 14.4 54.0 31.6
1997 13.5 54.8 31.6
1998 13.5 55.5 31.0
1999 12.9 56.3 30.8
2000 12.8 56.7 30.5
2001 13.2 57.0 29.8
2002 13.5 57.1 29.4
2003 13.9 57.3 28.8
2004 14.2 57.5 28.3
2005 14.6 57.4 28.0
2006 14.9 57.4 27.7
2007 15.2 57.4 27.4
2008 15.3 57.6 27.0
2009 15.6 58.0 26.4
2010 15.7 58.5 25.8
2011 15.7 58.9 25.4
2012 15.9 58.9 25.2
2013 15.8 59.0 25.2
2014 15.6 58.9 25.5
2015 15.2 58.8 25.9
2016 14.7 58.7 26.6
SOURCE: SSA, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.
Percentage distribution of SSI recipients by sex, by age, December 2016
Age Men Women
All ages 47 53
Under 18 67 33
18–64 48 52
65 or older 34 66
SOURCE: SSA, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.
Percentage of SSI recipients also receiving other income, by source and age, December 2016
Age OASDI Other unearned income Earnings
All ages 33.1 10.0 3.2
Under 18 7.0 21.2 0.2
18–64 29.5 6.9 4.9
65 or older 55.6 10.7 1.3
SOURCE: SSA, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.
Number of children under age 18 receiving SSI, and average monthly SSI payment to children under age 18
Year Number of children receiving SSI (in thousands) Average monthly SSI payment (in percent) a
1974 70.90 109.15
1975 107.03 141.09
1976 125.41 154.24
1977 147.36 170.03
1978 165.90 171.72
1979 177.31 193.26
1980 190.39 219.08
1981 194.89 240.84
1982 191.57 263.22
1983 198.32 280.96
1984 211.59 292.86
1985 227.38 301.26
1986 241.20 321.34
1987 250.90 327.27
1988 255.14 343.24
1989 264.89 357.64
1990 308.59 403.72
1991 397.16 446.05
1992 556.47 610.98
1993 722.68 460.54
1994 841.47 448.07
1995 917.05 447.57
1996 955.17 442.01
1997 879.83 433.83
1998 887.07 441.75
1999 847.06 450.13
2000 846.78 463.05
2001 881.84 476.09
2002 914.82 487.73
2003 959.38 490.63
2004 993.13 505.98
2005 1,036.50 522.80
2006 1,079.00 542.00
2007 1,121.00 555.00
2008 1,153.80 561.00
2009 1,199.79 593.00
2010 1,239.30 597.00
2011 1,277.00 601.00
2012 1,311.86 621.00
2013 1,321.68 631.00
2014 1,299.76 633.23
2015 1,267.16 643.06
2016 1,213.08 649.58
SOURCE: SSA, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.
NOTE: SSI = Supplemental Security Income.
a. As of 1998, these figures exclude retroactive payments.