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Beyond 50: Summary Tables and Charts

A statistical supplement to the first of AARP's planned series of annual reports on the status of Americans age 50 and older

Through its analysis of both the status quo and developing trends, Beyond 50: A Report to the Nation on Economic Security provides readers with an in-depth look at the well-being of more than one-quarter of Americans - the 76 million people age 50 and older in 2000. Future reports are planned on health care, long-term care, and consumer protection issues.

The inaugural Beyond 50, published in May 2001, examined "four pillars" of economic security - Social Security, pensions and savings, earnings and employment, and health insurance. The 50-and-older population was analyzed in two ways. First, the population was divided into three distinct income groups — the top quartile, the middle half, and the bottom quartile. Second, each income group was split into three age groups — 50-61 ("pre-retirees"), 62-74 ("younger retirees"), and 75 and older ("older retirees").

Using data from a variety of sources, including several large government surveys (the Current Population Survey, the Survey of Consumer Finances, the National Health Interview Survey, and the Consumer Expenditure Survey), the report focused on a range of factors including demographics, income, poverty, wealth, pension coverage, labor force participation, homeownership, health insurance, health expenditures, health status, and physical limitations.

Because the breadth of the data analyzed made it impossible to incorporate all of it in the report itself, we have reproduced here the summary tables and charts that formed the basis of much of the analysis in this first annual Beyond 50, making the data available to those audiences interested in more carefully examining the basis for the report's conclusions or in learning more about the economic well-being of midlife and older Americans. For those interested in using the data in their own analyses, all of the tables and charts presented in this report may be downloaded.


The following files are pdf files. The file sizes range from 86,000 bytes to 2,058,000 bytes; approximate download time with a 28.8 modem will range from approximately 5 seconds to 1 minute.

Distribution of the 50+ Population
Life Expectancy
Income and Income Shares
Social Security
Wealth and Net Worth
Wealth Concentration
Health Insurance and Medicaid
Core Indicators by Age and Income

Data compiled by Carlos Figueiredo; Tables and Graphs prepared by Mitja Che Baumhackl and John Gist, all of AARP's Public Policy Institute

May 2002
©2002 AARP
May be copied only for noncommercial purposes and with attribution; permission required for all other purposes.
Public Policy Institute, AARP, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20049