Wealth Inequality Among Older Americans

TitleWealth Inequality Among Older Americans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsJames P. Smith
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume52B
IssueSpec
Pagination74-81
Call Numberpubs_1997_Smith_JJGSeriesB.pdf
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Income, Net Worth and Assets
Abstract

This article uses the AHEAD study to examine the distribution of wealth among American households with a member at least 70 years old. As in other age groups, wealth is unevenly distributed among Americans aged 70 years and older. The households in the top 10th percentile of wealth distribution have 2,500 times as much wealth as those in the lowest 10th percentile. This wealth inequality is reflected in large racial and ethnic wealth deficits. Such wealth disparities, largely due to income, are the primary reason why older minority households have accumulated so little wealth compared to older White households. The findings confirm that current health status remains a powerful correlate of household wealth and that bequests motives for the elderly are congruent with the extreme wealth disparities.

Endnote Keywords

Economic Status/Health Status/Wealth/Income Inequality

Endnote ID

8080

Citation Key6585