The poverty rate among seniors practically doubles—increasing from 9% to 15.9%--based on a new, experimental set of measurements just released by the Census Bureau.

By considering previously overlooked factors like health and child care expenses, the new criteria, released on Monday, are part of a government initiative aimed at getting a more accurate representation of poverty in the United States.

While the poverty percentages for other demographic groups, such as children and African-Americans, were also altered by the new measurements, people 65 years old and over experienced the most significant change.

According to ABC News, the new guidelines will not affect how the poverty level is calculated when determining who qualifies for government aid. Instead, the measures are meant to assist in assessing the value of existing federal aid programs.

What was the main reason for the elderly poverty percentage jump? The inclusion of rising health-care costs.


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Medical care is becoming so expensive, experts from the Census Bureau estimate that, in the absence of health care costs, only 8.6% of people age 65 and older would be considered impoverished.