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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Fully Insured
    Workers
  3. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  4. Middle Class
    Beneficiaries
  5. Never
    Beneficiaries
  6. Taxable Maximum
    Earners
  7. Veteran
    Beneficiaries

Marital Status & Poverty

Released: May 2016
Next expected update: 2021
  • The never-married elderly (aged 65 or older) have the highest poverty rate among all groups, followed by those who are divorced and widowed.
  • The overall elderly poverty rate is almost two-thirds higher among women than men with 12 percent of women in poverty compared with 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 12 percent of the elderly poor. Likewise, divorced individuals make up 12 percent of the elderly and 20 percent of the elderly poor. Widowed individuals make up a quarter of the elderly, but 37 percent of the elderly poor.
Chart. Title: Poverty rates of persons aged 65 or older, by marital status and sex, 2014: Percentage below 100% of poverty. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Poverty rates of persons aged 65 or older, by marital status and sex, 2014 (percentage below 100% of poverty)
Marital status Both sexes Men Women
All 10.0 7.4 12.1
Married 5.0 5.1 4.9
Widowed 14.8 9.2 16.3
Divorced 16.2 12.8 18.4
Never married 23.6 20.4 26.1
Chart. Title: Elderly by marital status, 2014. Pie chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Elderly by marital status, 2014
Marital status Percent of elderly population
Married 58
Widowed 25
Divorced 12
Never married 5
Chart. Title: Elderly poor by marital status, 2014. Pie chart with tabular version below.
Show as table
Table equivalent for chart: Elderly poor by marital status, 2014
Marital status Percentage in poverty
Married 31
Widowed 37
Divorced 20
Never married 12