Elder Index and Demographics by County
Long Term Care Costs by County

Elder Index: A More Accurate Measure of Basic Needs

The Elder Economic Security Index (Elder Index) is the only county-specific measure of the minimum income necessary to cover all of an older adult’s basic expenses—housing, food, health care and transportation. The California Elder Index is available for all 58 counties across the state and the City of Los Angeles. Click here to read more about how the Elder Index is calculated and why it is a better measure than the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPL).

Cal-EESI: A Coalition for Change

The Insight Center’s California Elder Economic Security Initiative (Cal-EESI) is a statewide, research-driven coalition at the forefront of a national movement to ensure that seniors have the support and resources they need to age with economic dignity and well-being. The California Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) informs Cal-EESI’s advocacy efforts. We partner with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) in Washington D.C. and states across the country in this effort. Cal-EESI is part of the Insight Center’s Building Economic Security for All project to ensure all people in the US achieve a basic level of economic security. Click here to read more.


of retired older Californians (65+ years) are struggling to make ends meet.

Transforming the Way We Address the Economic Needs of Older Californians

The official poverty measure recognizes only a fraction of California’s 1.76 million seniors in need. The others often remain uncounted and are caught in a gap, unable to qualify for critical programs despite struggling to make ends meet. Seniors have spent their entire lives contributing to our society, raising and mentoring younger generations, and paying into the system. They deserve better. As a nation, and a state, it is our responsibility to make sure they don’t spend their “golden years” struggling to make ends meet. That’s where Cal-EESI and the Elder Index come in to transform the way we understand and address the economic needs of seniors in California. Click here to view the data.


The Insight Center thanks the following funders for their generous support of the California Elder Economic Security Initiative (Cal-EESI) and California Elder Economic Security Index:

  • California Community Foundation
  • City of Los Angeles Department of Aging
  • Council on Aging Silicon Valley
  • County of San Diego Aging and Independence Services
  • Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services (Area Agency on Aging for Los Angeles County)
  • National Council on Aging
  • The California Endowment
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • The Health Trust
  • UC California Program on Access to Care
  • United Way of the Bay Area
  • Wider Opportunities for Women
  • Y & H Soda Foundation