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Social Security: Who’s Counting on It?

This Fact Sheet by Selena Caldera of AARP's Public Policy Institute Economics team illustrates the importance of resolving Social Security’s long-term solvency problem by highlighting the critical role Social Security plays in securing the income of many Americans. This fact sheet uses 2009 beneficiary data from the Social Security Administration and income data from the March 2009 supplement of the Current Population Survey to update the data provided in fact sheet 154, Social Security: Ten Facts that Matter.

Older Americans’ Reliance on Social Security Income, by State, 2006-2008

AARP Public Policy Institute has estimated older Americans’ reliance on Social Security in each state using a three-year average. The Current Population Survey, the survey data used to produce these estimates, is not designed to be representative at the state level. As a result, the sample size for an individual state for one year may be too small to yield a precise estimate for the subpopulation of those age 65 and older. To remedy this problem, we are providing estimates based on three years of data; the single year estimates are included for research purposes only, and they cannot be used reliably.