Fewer Older Women, More Older Men Are Living Alone

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February 19, 2016

Thanks in large part to a shift in life expectancy among men, there a fewer women aged 65 and above who are living alone. According to CityLab, a Pew Research Center Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data discovered the share of women over 65 who are living alone is as low as it has been in decades.

In 1990, 38 percent of women 65-years-old or older lived alone. In 2014, that number was down to 32 percent. As many begin to live longer, the number of women who live with their spouses has increased, as well, from 37 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2014.

While there are more men living with their children or other family members or friends, the number of men older than 65 who are living alone has increased slightly from 15 percent in 1990 to 19 percent in 2014.

Generally, if fewer Americans are living alone, it is seen as a positive shift. Another Pew survey found 33 percent of older adults living alone said they live comfortably compared to 49 percent of individuals who lived with others said they lived comfortably. Older Americans who live on their own are three times as likely as those who don’t to live in poverty. While correlation is not causation, that number is large enough to take note of.

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