soc 10-5

Sociology Chapter 10-5
Inequality In America’s Elderly Population
• Economics for elderly is hard to measure.
– Gov’t. determines that the elderly need less $ than
younger Americans.
– Poverty rate is higher than what’s reported.
“Traditionally the poverty rate for people 65 and over
is 10%... The National Academy of Science
estimates it at 18.7% using a new formula.”
Tom Johansmeyer
Less Poor Elderly Today
The Hidden Poor
• Older people living in institutions.
• Older people living with relatives.
Multiple Factors
• Elderly who are part of a racial or ethnic
minority have even higher poverty rate.
• Elderly women are of the poorest groups.
- Single women are even worse off.
The Elderly and Politics
• Elderly people are the most active voters in
the U.S.
Political Power?
• America’s elderly are too diverse to
maintain political power.
• Gray Power lacks unity.
• May form interest groups:
• Groups that attempt to influence politicians.
– AARP, Gray Panthers