Social Security keeps seniors out of poverty

Released: 
November 16, 2012

A third of American seniors depend on Social Security as a safety net. Without it, poverty rates would soar.

Here's a look at a previously released fact.

One of every three Americans over 65 depends on Social Security checks to stay above the poverty line. Without these benefits, the poverty rate among seniors would soar from the current 9 percent to 45 percent. The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012, and the official poverty line for an individual over 65 is $10,788 annually.

See how senior poverty rates have changed over time by checking out our infographic. Then join the discussion below. Does this much dependence on Social Security surprise you?