According to a new report, The Rising Age Gap in Economic Well-being, a higher percentage of younger householders than older householders are in poverty today, a 180 degree flip that occurred over the past 40 years.
The report found that poverty rates for households headed by adults ages 65 and older dropped dramatically from 1967 to 1980, and have continued to decline to the present day. Meanwhile, poverty rates for households headed by adults younger than 35 began climbing in the 1980s and are notably higher today than they were in 1967.
In 2010, 11 percent of households headed by adults ages 65 and older were in poverty, compared to 22 percent of households headed by an adult younger than 35.
D'Vera Cohn, Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center and lead author on the report, points to a wide variance in income changes across age groups, causing a dramatic narrowing of the adjusted income gap between younger and older households.
The report notes that in 1967, households headed by adults 65 or older had median adjusted household income that was roughly half the income of households headed by adults younger than 35. Since then incomes of older and younger households have converged significantly - $49,145 among those younger than 35 and $43,401 among those ages 65 and older in 2010.
Research shows the onset of recession in 2007 accelerated the converging trend. The share of older adults who are employed has been growing, while the share of younger adults who are employed has been shrinking, wrote Cohn. One reason for the decline in the employment rate among the young is that a growing share are in school, forgoing wages now for potential higher earnings later.
The report was based on Census Bureau data and was released by the Pew Research Center last month.