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AARP AARP States West Virginia Advocacy

Older Residents Drive State's Economic Engine

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Social Security. Medicare. Pension funds. The cost of such programs makes some people think that aging Americans are a drain on the economy. But a recent report by Oxford Economics for AARP dispels that myth, showing that Americans 50-plus contribute more than their share to the economy.

In West Virginia, for example, residents 50-plus make up 40 percent of the state’s population, yet account for 43 percent of its GDP. Over-50 households account for 60 percent of consumer spending in the state and pay more than $3.3 billion in state and local taxes. Workers 50 and older represent 36 percent of the state’s workforce, and their economic contributions support 462,000 jobs—or 51 percent of the state’s total employment.

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