Source: SSA, Master Beneficiary Record, 100 percent data Note: Totals do not necessarily equal the sum of rounded components

Although Social Security provides important financial protection for people in their working years by way of disability or survivors, the overwhelming majority of people receiving Social Security, 84%, are age 62 or older.

The following chart illustrates the age stratification for all Social Security beneficiaries, with an additional breakout for those age 62 and older.


Group/% of Total Number Male/% of Group Female/%  of Group
All beneficiaries/100% 64,850,867 29,182,891/46% 35,667,976/54%
Age-Under 18/4% 2,594,035
Age 18-61/11% 7,747,832
Age 62 and over/84% 54,509,000 24,389,000/44.7% 30,120,000/55.3%


Older Adult Age Cohorts

Group/% of Total Number Male/% of Group Female/%  of Group
Age 62-69/29% 19,066,000 8,707,000/45.7% 10,359,000/54.3%
Age 70-84/46% 29,670,000 13,577,000/45.8% 10,359,000/54.3%
Age 85 and older/9% 5,772,000 2,104,000/36.5% 3,668,000/63.5%
Age 99 and older/.18% 114,408 22,312/19.5% 92,096/80.5%


At each age bracket, women are the majority of beneficiaries. At the most advanced brackets, age 85 and older or 99 and older, women hold a supermajority at 63.5% and 80.5% respectively. This is critical from a policy and legislative perspective because the importance of Social Security benefits increases incrementally each year as you age.  This gradual increase in importance of Social Security as a dependable, inflation-protected income flows from the health expense increase and steady depletion of assets that accompany advancing age. .


Government Relations and Policy, November 2, 2021