Evictions and the older adult population

Dec 11, 2023

Matthew Dietrich, The Polis Center

As there is more and more coverage nationally on the lack of caregiving and housing options for older adults, we will attempt to provide context in Central Indiana and Indiana on the challenges faced here.

Evictions affect people of all ages, races, and backgrounds across Indiana, but older adults living alone are particularly susceptible to the effects of being evicted. This is because older adults living alone often have less resources available to navigate the complexities and challenges of an eviction. This trend is only expected to rise—not just for older adults living alone, but for all older adults, as the country is amid an affordable housing crisis that is only exacerbating inequalities. Access to proper housing and caregiving for many baby boomers will be challenging in the coming years as they age.

The new Indiana eviction and foreclosure dashboard provides insights into overall eviction and foreclosure trends throughout the state, as well as several analyses on how socioeconomic and demographic variables are associated with evictions and foreclosures. Strikingly, when looking at eviction data across the state from 2021 until October 2023, there are clear associations between evictions and the percentage of older adults (age 65+) living alone. Specifically, there is a significant positive correlation between the percentage of older adult males living alone and eviction filing rates, by census tract. Additionally, there is a significant positive correlation between eviction judgment rates and the percentage of both male and female older adults living alone in Indiana, by census tract. This implies that where evictions are greatest, this is also where there are the greatest number of older adults living alone.

An additional noteworthy trend is the significant positive relationship between the percentage of households in a census tract with an older adult (age 65+) resident and eviction judgment rate. A similar trend is also seen with eviction filing rates, albeit weaker. This collectively implies that areas with a greater proportion of households with older adults are more likely to experience eviction filings and judgments.

While many of these correlations are minor, there is a very high probability they are real and not serendipitous based on the extremely low p-values. The fact that the correlations represent a large dataset across the entire state suggests a more detailed data dive is needed to better understand how evictions are related to and affecting the older adult population.

Click here to learn more about evictions and foreclosures in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana

Explore a new statewide Indiana dashboard on evictions and foreclosures. More analyses on the context of older adults facing evictions and foreclosures are planned for future work.

Explore additional variables associated with eviction filings and judgments via the hyperlinks provided. The variables displayed below in the figures are all positively correlated with eviction filing or eviction judgment rates. Meaning, that as eviction filing or judgment rates increase, the associated variables do too. This is based on data collected across the state of Indiana at the census tract level. Only variables that have a p-value of less than or equal to 0.05 are shown here, meaning that with 95% or greater certainty, the trends are real and not just occurring by chance.

Correlations between eviction judgment rates and demographic variables in Indiana

Correlations between eviction filing rates and demographic variables in Indiana