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GAO: U.S. Seniors Need Transportation Services

A new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) states that an estimated 21 percent of U.S. residents age 65 and older are likely to need transportation services due to their inability to drive or lack of access to a vehicle.

The report is titled Older Americans Act: More Should Be Done to Measure the Extent of Unmet Need for Services.

GAO obtained the 21 percent figure by analyzing data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study to identify adults over age 65 who reported they could not drive, could drive but lacked access to a car, or did not have access to transportation services through their living facility. Examining the data for age and sex shows other gradations: some 41 percent of people  age 80 and above are likely to need transportation services, compared to just 12 percent of ages 65-69, and the figures for women and men are 29 percent and 12 percent respectively.

The report also shows that seniors with lower incomes and lower net wealth, as measured by homeownership, had a higher need for transportation services, and that older adults with higher levels of education were less likely to need transportation services than older adults with a high school degree or less.

The text of the report is available online. The section regarding transportation needs is Appendix V.
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