During the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing to today, older women of color—especially those with disabilities and LGBT people—disproportionately weathered income losses and illness, served as caregivers, and struggled to afford food, housing, and health care.
A new issue brief co-authored by Justice in Aging and the National Women’s Law Center, The Economic Security and Health of Older Women of Color analyzes recent data about the employment, incomes, and health of older women of color and highlights policy solutions that are targeted to support them. This issue brief is a follow-up to the original brief released in October 2021 and features data reflecting the experience of older women of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key findings from the issue brief include:
- Older women of color were more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts.
- Facing an uneven economic recovery, older Black and Latina women experienced a slower decline in unemployment rates and were more likely to report lost employment income.
- Older women of color ages 50 and over were overrepresented among essential workers and disproportionately provided caregiving.
- Higher shares of older women of color reported having long COVID symptoms, while stark racial and ethnic disparities in health care affordability persist among older adults.
- Older women of color were also more likely to have trouble affording a prescription or paying a medical bill.
The brief calls for immediate policy solutions so older women of color can age with economic dignity and with the health supports they need, and is the latest addition to work under our Strategic Initiative to Advance Equity in Aging.