Single Older Hispanic Women And Poverty

Since the 1970s, the number of people over age 65 who are poor has declined dramatically—from more than one in four to fewer than one in ten today. Unfortunately, these numbers do not provide the whole picture. For single older women, the reduction in poverty has not been nearly as positive.

While the poverty rate for all women aged 65 and older is 10.7 percent—just over one in ten—the poverty rate for single women (“unrelated individual females”) is almost twice as high at 17.4 percent.

Hispanic Women and Retirement Income: Statistics

  • By the year 2050, experts are projecting that there will be at least five times more minority women and men aged 65 and older.
  • Hispanic women earn only 52 cents for every dollar that men earn. As low-income workers, they are less likely to have access to employee benefits.
  • Minority women are less likely to work in jobs covered by pensions. Eighty-six percent of Hispanic women received none of their family income from private pensions or annuities.(1)
  • The poverty rate for single Hispanic women over age 65 is 43.7 percent, for single African American women, 32.5 percent, while for white women, it is 15.3 percent, as of 2009.(2)
  • On average, Hispanic women depend on Social Security for over 60 percent of their family income.(1)
  • In 2008, the average retired worker benefit received by Hispanic women is only $9,536—that’s significantly below the poverty threshold.(1)
  • Half of all single older women receive less than $729 a year in asset income.(1)

Sources: (1)  Social Security Administration. Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2008. April 2010.
             (2)  U.S. Census, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2010

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