Social Security- Fast Facts

  • In 2009, nearly 51 million Americans will receive $650 billion in Social Security benefits.

    December 2008 Beneficiary Data
    Retired workers
    32 million
    $37.2 billion
    $1,153 average monthly benefit
    dependents
    2.9 million
    $ 1.6 billion
    Disabled workers
    7.4 million
    $ 7.9 billion
    $1,063 average monthly benefit
    dependents
    1.8 million
    $ .6 billion
    Survivors
    6.5 million
    $ 6.3 billion
    $1,112 average monthly benefit
  • Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly.

    • Nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.
    • Social Security benefits represent about 40% of the income of the elderly.
    • Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 52% of married couples and 72% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security.
    • Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 20% of married couples and about 41% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.
  • Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits.
    • Retired workers and their dependents account for 69% of total benefits paid.
    • Disabled workers and their dependents account for 18% of total benefits paid.
      • About 91 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.
      • Almost 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
      • 69% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance.
    • Survivors of deceased workers account for about 13% of total benefits paid.
      • About one in eight of today’s 20 year-olds will die before reaching age 67.
      • About 97% of persons aged 20-49 who worked in covered employment in 2008 have survivors insurance protection for their young children and the surviving spouse caring for the children.
  • An estimated 162 million workers, 94% of all workers, are covered under Social Security.

  • 52% of the workforce has no private pension coverage.
  • 31% of the workforce has no savings set aside specifically for retirement.

  • In 1935, the life expectancy of a 65-year-old was 12½ years, today it’s 18 years.

  • By 2034, there will be almost twice as many older Americans as today — from 38.6 million today to 74 million.

  • There are currently 3.3 workers for each Social Security beneficiary. By 2034, there will be 2.1 workers for each beneficiary.

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