Social Security Is Important to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

March 2014 (Printer Friendly Version)

Social Security is neutral with respect to race or ethnicity – individuals with identical earnings histories are treated the same in terms of benefits.  This Fact Sheet is provided by the Social Security Administration to highlight how Asian Americans benefit from the Social Security program and how certain demographic characteristics of Asian Americans compare with the entire population.

  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders benefit from the guaranteed benefit that is annually adjusted for inflation. With longer life expectancies, elderly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will live more years in retirement and benefit from Social Security’s cost-of-living protections.

    • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders tend to have higher life expectancies at age 65 than the majority of the population.

      • Asian American and Pacific Islander men who are age 65 in 2012 can expect to live to age 85, compared to age 82 for all men.

      • Asian American and Pacific Islander women who are age 65 in 2012 can expect to live to age 88, compared to age 85 for all women.

  • In 2012, the average annual Social Security income received by Asian American and Pacific Islander men 65 years and older was $15,210 and for women it was $11,783.

  • In 2012, among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders receiving Social Security, 28 percent of elderly married couples and 59 percent of elderly unmarried persons relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

  • The Asian American and Pacific Islander population in the U.S. is expected to grow. Today, about 5 percent of the population is Asian American and Pacific Islander. This proportion is expected to grow to more than eight percent by 2050.

Our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/aapi contains more information of interest to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

This fact sheet is designed to provide general information and may not apply to all individuals within each segment of the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations.