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A Profile of Older Americans: 2008

Living Arrangements

Over half (55.3%) the older noninstitutionalized persons lived with their spouse in 2007. Approximately 11.2 million or 72.8% of older men, and 8.7 million or 42.2% of older women, lived with their spouse (Figure 3). The proportion living with their spouse decreased with age, especially for women. Only 30.1% of women 75+ years old lived with a spouse.

About 30.2% (10.9 million) of all noninstitutionalized older persons in 2007 lived alone (7.9 million women, 2.9 million men). They represented 38.6 of older women and 19.0% of older men. The proportion living alone increases with advanced age. Among women aged 75 and over, for example, half (49%) lived alone.

While a relatively small number (1.57 million) and percentage (4.4%) of the 65+ population in 2007 lived in institutional settings such as nursing homes, the percentage increases dramatically with age, ranging from 1.3% for persons 65-74 years to 4.1% for persons 75-84 years and 15.1% for persons 85+. In addition, approximately 2%-5% (depending on the definition) of the elderly lived in senior housing with at least one supportive service available to their residents.

Figure 3: Living Arrangements of Persons 65+, 2008

Figure 3M shows that 73% of older men live with a spouse and 19% live alone while 8% live in other arrangements. Figure 3F shows that 42% of older women live with a spouse and 39% live alone while 19% live in other arrangements.

(Based on data from the Bureau of the Census including the 2007 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement and the 2007 American Community Survey. See: March 2008 Current Population Survey Internet releases, Detailed Tables and unpublished data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.)

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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans 2008 - Racial and Ethnic Composition