AARP recently came out with a survey assessing the concerns that matter most to African Americans who are 50 and older. The survey, entitled African-American/Black Social Issues Study, shows that health care, education, financial security and the digital divide are among the most important social issues for this group.
The survey included phone interviews with 650 survey takers. AARP says the results show that while many African American baby boomers are optimistic about issues concerning health care, education and the digital divide, they are less optimistic about finances, employment and workforce discrimination.
Says Edna Kane-Williams, AARP vice president, multicultural markets and engagement, in a written statement:
“In light of rapid population growth among multicultural communities, studies such as our African-American Social Issues Survey allow AARP to address the unique resource and service needs that have resulted from the demographic shift. We realize that decisions like knowing when to claim retirement benefits, making health care choices, seeking employment and financial planning can be complex and different for everyone. AARP is working to provide all people with enough information to make the right choices for themselves and their families.”
Here are some of the findings from AARP’s Survey:
- While the majority of African American baby boomers considered all of the social issues AARP asked about as being important, access to quality health care (91%), financial security (91%) and health care information (89%) were seen as most important.
- When survey takers noted more than one issue as extremely or very important, they were asked which of the issues was the single most important. Access to quality healthcare was viewed by the majority of survey takers as the single most important social issue by one third (32%) of those who gave multiple responses.
- Having a financially secure retirement was considered the second most important issue (cited by 16% of those with multiple answers), while access to quality education was the third most important issue (cited by 14% of those with multiple answers).
- Optimism is lowest for employment-related issues, with employment discrimination based on age (44%) and race (45%), access to better employment opportunities (48%) and having a financially secure retirement (a by-product of employment) yielding lower optimism as it relates to health, technology and education-related issues.