Giving Compass’ Take:
• Victoria Tran of the Urban Institute relays a detailed explanation of the factors that contribute to higher poverty levels among the Asian American elderly population specifically.
• How can philanthropists and nonprofits help target and support specific older groups of people who need basic resources? Why is the aging population not a priority in the social sector?
• Read about the ways in which philanthropists can potentially shift focus to helping the elderly population.
A growing population of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander seniors lack the financial resources of their younger counterparts.
The elderly Asian population is faring worse economically compared with the general older American population. Poverty rates range significantly among different Asian subgroups. For example, in 2015, 23.3 percent of Cambodian American seniors 65 and older lived below the federal poverty level compared with 7.1 percent of Filipino seniors. Vietnamese, Hmong, and Indonesian Americans 65 and older have a poverty rate of 17.9 percent.
Many social and economic barriers stand in the way of addressing elderly poverty. Access to affordable senior housing is often a large factor in AANHPI seniors’ financial security. Asian American seniors are likely to move to Asian American cultural hubs for social engagement and community support. These hubs are often in cities with expensive housing prices. Nearly half of poor Asian Americans live in the 20 most-expensive real estate markets.
Many Asian American seniors have limited access to the social safety net despite growing poverty rates. Asian American seniors, especially foreign-born seniors, are likely to receive much less Social Security benefits because they tend to earn less and over fewer years during their working years in the United States.
Social isolation, inadequate community outreach, and limited English proficiency play a large role in keeping Asian American seniors from accessing social services.
Read the full article about the social isolation of Asian American seniors by Victoria Tran at The Urban Institute.
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