Housing Inequality More Apparent in Older Populations

A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University digs into the housing market for older Americans, finding more evidence of a widening gap between each end of the wealth spectrum.

October 17, 2019, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Senior Housing

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University this week released the "Housing America's Older Adults 2019" report, finding increasing housing inequality among older Americans.

"Between 2012 and 2017, the number of households headed by someone 65 or older jumped from 27 million to 31 million and will continue to grow. At the same time, the number of older adults facing housing cost burdens reached an all-time high of 10 million," according to a press release announcing the study.

The report also identifies a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots: "Between 2012 to 2017, the incomes of households age 65 and over in the top 10 percent increased by 22 percent while incomes of those in the bottom 10 percent fell by 4 percent. Additionally, the median income for the highest earners between the ages of 50 and 64 set a new record of nearly $204,000 in 2017, while the median income for the lowest earners, $14,400, was lower than the 2000 level of $17,100."

The website shares the report also includes interactive maps and infographics built from data reported in the report.

Lois A. Bowers picked up news of the report for McKnight's Senior Living, focusing on five takeaways from the report, with a lot more details included in the article:

  1. The need for affordable housing, supportive services will increase.
  2. Moves will increase; services will be needed.
  3. Many older adults prefer larger buildings.
  4. Cost burdens lead to food, healthcare issues.
  5. Some areas are worse than others when it comes to housing cost burdens.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

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