New (2011) Census data reveal that almost a half-million North Carolinians are kept from living in poverty by Social Security. This is from a new report  by the numbers experts at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
“Social Security benefits play a vital role in reducing poverty. Without Social Security, 21.4 million more Americans would be poor, according to the latest available Census data (for 2011). Although most of those whom Social Security keeps out of poverty are elderly, nearly a third are under age 65, including 1.1 million children. Depending on their design, reductions in Social Security benefits could significantly increase poverty, particularly among the elderly.”
Here are the numbers for North Carolina:
50.4% – Percentage of elderly North Carolinians who would live in poverty without Social Security.
10.0% – Percentage who actually do live in poverty.
498,000 – Number of elderly North Carolinians lifted out of poverty by Social Security.
The bottom line: Despite its many challenges, Social Security remains one of the greatest success strories in American history.