Between 2009 and 2011, 3.1 percent of people over the age of 65 entered poverty, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau. It also found that although the elderly were less likely to fall in and out of poverty during this time span, once they fell into poverty they stayed there for the entire three years of the study.

About 36.8 percent of elderly adults in poverty in January and February 2009 were poor in all 36 months compared to 30.7 percent for children and 22.7 percent for working-age adults.

Living below the poverty line differs depending on whether a person is single or has a large family. In 2013, the federal poverty line for a family of four was $23,550. For a couple, that figure was $15,510.

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