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East Europe and Former USSR

Sex Ratio Contrasts In Old Age

Like the rule that low birth rates make old populations, the sex difference in survival forms another worldwide demographic constant. At younger ages, low absolute death rates keep this difference from having much demographic effect. The sex ratio in all countries hovers near one man per woman until about age fifty. As people grow older and death rates increase, however, the survival difference begins to matter. Each generation becomes more "female" in old age. The ratio of men to women declines from about one man per woman at age fifty, to less than half a man per woman (or more than two women per man) by about age eighty. At the turn of the century, this rule was equally true in very young central Asian republics and in much older eastern European populations. However, the larger share of people at old ages in the European populations meant that the weight of the social problems created there was greater. The clearest such consequence concerns marital status at advanced ages.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2East Europe and Former USSR - Population Aging And The Birth Rate, Sex Ratio Contrasts In Old Age, Marital Status Contrasts At Old Ages