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Public Policy Institute

Social Security Keeps Americans of All Ages Out of Poverty

State-Level Estimates, 2010–2012

Social Security keeps both old and young Americans out of poverty, providing critical income support to those who need it the most. For older Americans and their families, the Social Security program provides a guaranteed lifetime stream of retirement income that keeps pace with inflation. In 2012, Social Security kept more than 22 million Americans of all ages out of poverty, more than many other government programs combined. That included keeping about 1 million children under age 18 and almost 6 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 out of poverty. Social Security had an even greater impact on older Americans (age 65 and older), keeping 15 million of them out of poverty in 2012.

This Fact Sheets highlights the extent to which Social Security keeps people of all ages out of poverty. More specifically, this Fact Sheet shows the percentage of individuals kept out of poverty by Social Security for state, gender, and age categories.

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