During the 1988-1992 period, the annual poverty rate reported by the Census Bureau for the older population in the Current Population Survey was lower than that for the total population. But the CPS samples different individuals each year, so that some who are poor in one year may not be poor the next. To measure long-term poverty, one needs to follow the same individuals over time. When poverty status was tracked for the same individuals over a five-year period, using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, older persons, especially older women, were more likely than younger persons to be poor, and for longer periods. An AARP Public Policy Institute Data Digest by Ke Bin Wu.
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