Content starts here
Sep 15, 2021
AARP Foundation Statement on the U.S. Census Bureau Report on Poverty

En EspañolWASHINGTON—AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson issued the following response to the U.S. Census Bureau data on poverty, income, and health insurance in 2020. The report showed the supplemental poverty measure fell 3.3% among adults age 65 and over as a result of COVID-19 government relief. Ryerson said:

“Far too many older people in this country are living in poverty. More than 37 million adults over 50 are either living in or on the verge of poverty. They are often forced to make a terrible choice: pay for housing, pay for medicine, or pay for food. When COVID-19 struck, millions of older adults who were already at risk experienced further financial hardship as they lost jobs or income.

“The Census Bureau’s report is proof that we can begin to turn this problem around, and that safety-net programs can make a crucial difference in the lives of the country’s most vulnerable older adults. Additional pandemic-related benefits — such as increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, housing assistance, stimulus payments, and refundable tax credits — provided hope and security for older adults struggling to meet their basic needs.

“Now is the time to build on the progress that has been made; to continue pushing forward with programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people over 50. At AARP Foundation, we’re committed to ending senior poverty by helping older adults with low income secure the essentials, including good jobs, eligible benefits, crucial refunds, and sustaining social connections.”


About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable people over 50 build economic opportunity. Our approach emphasizes equitable outcomes for populations that have faced systemic discrimination. As AARP's charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Through vigorous legal advocacy and evidence-based solutions, and by building supportive community connections, we foster resilience, advance equity and restore hope. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.​


For further information: Madison Daniels, 202-531-9026,, @AARPMedia