Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 1 » Consumption and Age - Theoretical Framework, Diversity Among Older Persons, Overview Of Household Spending, Differences In Consumption Among Older Persons

Consumption and Age - Diversity Among Older Persons

nursing social percent women income reported

The diversity of the older population contributes to a broad range of consumption needs and preferences. The sex ratio is an example: in 1998, there were 20.2 million older (65+) women and 14.2 million older men, or a sex ratio of 143 women for every 100 men. This ratio increases in older age groups: in 1998, it ranged from 118 women per 100 men for the 65 to 69 age group, to 241 women per 100 men for persons aged 85 and over. Marital status presents another example of the diversity of the older population—older men are much more likely to be married than older women. In 1998, 75 percent of older men and 43 percent of older women were married. There were four times as many widows as widowers in 1998.

Living arrangements of older persons are also diverse. In 1998 the majority of older noninstitutionalized persons lived in a family setting; that is, with a spouse or relatives. Approximately 80 percent of older men and 58 percent of older women lived in a family setting. Further, living alone was found to increase with advanced age. Three of every five women age 85 and older lived outside of a family setting in 1998. The percentage of persons 65 and older who lived in nursing homes in 1996 increased dramatically with age; only 1.1 percent of persons age 65 to 74 lived in nursing homes while 19.8 percent of persons 85 and over did so.

Participation of older persons in the labor force shows diversity as well. Twelve percent of older Americans were in the labor force in 1998, and older men were twice as likely to be employed as older women. Just over half (54 percent) of the workers over 65 were employed part-time: 48 percent of men and 62 percent of women. Twenty-three percent of older workers were self-employed, compared to 7 percent of younger workers. Over two-thirds (71 percent) of the self-employed were men.

The amount of income and the sources of income of older persons are also diverse. The median income of older persons in 1998 was $18,166 for males and $10,504 for females. The major sources of income in 1996, as reported by the Social Security Administration, were Social Security benefits (reported by 91 percent of older persons), income from assets (reported by 63 percent), public and private pensions (reported by 43 percent), earnings (reported by 21 percent), and public assistance (reported by 6 percent). In 1996, Social Security accounted for 40 percent of the aggregate income of the older population. The remainder consisted of earnings (20 percent), pensions (18 percent), assets (18 percent), and 4 percent from other sources. In summary, with advancing age, the population of older persons in the United States is more likely to be female, living alone, and to have less income than middle-aged people.

Consumption and Age - Overview Of Household Spending [next] [back] Consumption and Age - Theoretical Framework

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