The United States has an important, little-noticed division: a split between the states were many households are getting income from private retirement arrangements, and that states where getting private retirement income is much less common.
The U.S. Census Bureau asks about “retirement income, pensions, survivor or disability insurance” in the American Community Survey (ACS) questionnaire.
- The American Community Survey “Selected Population Profile” results for 2019 are available here.
- An article about retirement income in U.S. House districts is available here.
The bureau runs the ACS program to gather data government officials and others can use to see what communities are like, and how communities are changing.
The bureau asks about non-Social Security retirement income in Question 43, Section G.
Other sections under the Question 43 heading ask the survey takers about wages, salary and commissions; self-employment income; interest, dividends, and income from estates and trusts; income from Social Security and the Railroad Retirement program; Supplemental Security Income payments; support from state and local public assistance programs; and miscellaneous sources of income, such as unemployment benefits and alimony.
One implication of the data is that senators, governors and other policymakers in the places with the highest percentage of households relying on private sources of retirement income may care more about the 401(k) plan program, individual retirement accounts and annuities than policymakers in states with few households relying on private sources of retirement income.
For the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of households using private sources of retirement income in 2019 range from 17.9%, in D.C., up to 32.9%, with a median of 25%, according to the 2019 ACA data.
For a look at the five states with the highest percentage of households using private sources of retirement income, see the slideshow above. Wiggle your pointer on the first slide to make the control arrows show up.
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