Homelessness set to surge among US elderly: report
WASHINGTON — The number of homeless senior citizens will likely soar by one third over the next decade as the US population ages, a report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness warned Monday.
The projection is based on the record number of so-called Baby Boomers turning 65 in the United States and current levels of poverty among the elderly.
According to data from the Census Bureau used in the report, one in 10 people over the age over 65 (9.9 percent) was living under the poverty level in 2008 and had annual resources of under 10,326 dollars a year.
And nearly one million people, about 2.6 percent of Americans over 65, live in live extreme poverty.
In 2010, over 44,000 elderly Americans were homeless, the study found.
It projected that figure would increase by 33 percent by 2020, and more than double between 2010 and 2050, to 95,000.
While the number of Americans aged 65 or older stood at just 3.1 million people in 1900, today the figure has risen to 37 million or 12.6 percent of the total population.
By 2050, that number is expected to climb as high as 89 million people.
The poverty rate among the elderly has fallen steadily from highs of around 35 percent in the 1950s, hitting around 15 percent in 1975 after Social Security measures were adopted, and hovering between nine and 11 percent in recent years.