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A Profile of Older Americans: 2002

Living Arrangements

Over half (55%) the older noninstitutionalized persons lived with their spouse in 2000. Approximately 10.1 million or 73% of older men, and 7.7 million or 41% of older women, lived with their spouse (Figure 3). The proportion living with their spouse decreased with age, especially for women. Only 28.8% of women 75+ years old lived with a spouse.

About 30% (9.7 million) of all noninstitutionalized older persons in 2000 lived alone (7.4 million women, 2.4 million men). They represented 40% of older women and 17% of older men. The proportion living alone increases with advanced age. Among women aged 75 and over, for example, half (49.4%) lived alone.

About 633,000 grandparents aged 65 or over maintained households in which grandchildren were present in 1997.  In addition, 510,000 grandparents over 65 years lived in parent- maintained households in which their grandchildren were present.

While a relatively small number (1.56 million) and percentage (4.5%) of the 65+ population lived in nursing homes in 2000, the percentage increases dramatically with age, ranging from 1.1% for persons 65-74 years to 4.7% for persons 75-84 years and 18.2% for persons 85+.

Figure 3: Living Arrangements of Persons 65+: 2000

Living arrangements of women 65 and older are 41 percent live with a spouse, 40 percent live alone and 19 percent have other living arrangements.
Living arrangements of men 65 and older are 73 percent live witha spouse, 17 percent live alone, and 10 percent have other living arrangements.

(Based on data from U.S. Bureau of the Census.  See: "America’s Families and Living Arrangements; Population Characteristics: June, 2001, Current Population Reports, P20-537” and “The 65 Years and Over Population: 2000, Census 2000 Brief, October, 2001.”)

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