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Social Security

The Importance of Social Security and Medicare

Individual State Profiles

These fact sheets provide state data on the number of seniors who count on Social Security for much of their retirement income; the percentage of middle income seniors kept out of poverty by Social Security; number of Medicare beneficiaries by state; and the role of Social Security and Medicare in state economies. Read This Report

Data Sources

The number of Social Security beneficiaries, average benefit and total benefits paid are from tables 1, 2, and 3 of the Social Security Administration’s OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2012 (  Median reliance on Social Security benefits and poverty impact are based on the AARP Public Policy Institute’s tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 2010 – 2012.


The number of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older are from Table 2.8 of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Statistical Supplement, 2012 Edition; Medicare Enrollment: Hospital Insurance and/or Supplementary Medical Insurance for Aged and Disabled Enrollees and Total Resident Population by State of Residence as of July 1, 2012  (


Total Medicare spending for 2012 are estimated using data from CMS’s Statistical Supplement; Program Payments for Medicare Beneficiaries Residing in Urban and Rural Areas, by Area of Residence for Calendar Years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 ( and CMS enrollment for 2012, as noted above.


Projections for out-of-pocket health care spending are calculated from CMS’s Program Payments for Medicare Beneficiaries (noted above) and AARP Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) analysis of out-of-pocket spending patterns from the 2009 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data. Out of pocket spending as a share of mean income and percent of aged Medicare beneficiaries are calculated using data from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata (PUMS) file.  

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