Generations Beat reports that more than one in three men aged 65 and over rely on Social Security for at least 80 percent of their incomes. The number of older men who are dependent on the program jumped by 48 percent from 3.8 million to 5.7 million, in the decade preceding 2009.

The increased reliance on Social Security also grew for women aged 65 and over by 26 percent, from 8.2 million to 10.3 million, roughly equal to half the number of older women in 2009.

The report notes that Social Security helped more than 14 million Americans aged 65 and older stay above the poverty level in 2009. Without it, nearly half (45.9 percent) of Americans aged 65 and older would have been impoverished. With Social Security, the poverty rate is 8.9 percent for white older Americans and double that for Latino and African American seniors.

At the same time, the amount of income received from assets has fallen by half and older Americans are working longer to keep their incomes at or above the poverty level.

The study from which the data is taken was done by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and is available online at

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