Net worth has increased almost 80 percent for older Americans over the past 20 years. Yet, major inequalities continue to exist with older African Americans and people without high school diplomas reporting smaller economic gains and fewer financial resources overall.

  • Between 1974 and 2007, the proportion of older people below poverty from decreased from 15 percent to 10 percent and with low income from 35 percent to 26 percent, and an increase in the proportion of people with high income from 18 percent to 31 percent.
  • In 2007, the median net worth of households headed by white people age 65 and over ($280,000) was six times that of older black households ($46,000), down from eight times higher in 2003.
  • Labor force participation rates have risen among all women age 55 and over during the past four decades. Labor force participation rates among men age 55 and over have gradually begun to increase after a steady decline from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s.

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics