Rebecca Perron, AARP Research
Social Security retirement benefits keep over 16 million Americans age 65-plus out of poverty each year, and 40% rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. The critical role that Social Security plays in improving the financial security of older adults is recognized by Americans of all ages, regardless of political ideology or gender.
In this May 2023 survey, 96% of Americans age 18-plus identify Social Security as an important government program, including 71% who say it is one of the most important government programs. Moreover, 72% say Social Security is even more important now than it was before economic shocks like COVID-19 and periods of high inflation.
Ultimately, Americans of all ages feel a sense of urgency around Social Security solvency — 9 in 10 agree that Congress must immediately work to find a solution and that Republicans and Democrats must work together. This includes about two-thirds who strongly agree (67% and 70%, respectively).
Interviews were conducted from April 27–May 1, 2023 among 1,015 U.S. adults age 18-plus in the AmeriSpeak Omnibus. Funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago, AmeriSpeak is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population age 18 or older. Interviews were conducted online and via phone. All data are weighted by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, and region.
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