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Sex Ratios, Life Expectancy And Death Rates, Economic Status And Retirement, Marital Status, Living Arrangements, And Social Support

When considering issues of aging, gender must be considered as an integral component. The Census Bureau estimates that the number of women age sixty and older in the world will double between the years 2000 and 2025. In 2000, in developed countries, one in ten persons was a woman age sixty or older. This is projected to increase to one in seven by 2025. While developed countries may have higher percentages of older women, developing countries actually have higher numbers of older women, with faster growth rates for older women than more developed countries.

The different life experiences of women and men are reflected in several key demographic measures. Primary among these is the skewed sex ratio at older ages—there are a far greater number of older women than older men. This phenomenon is directly related to higher life expectancy and lower death rates among women. However, older women do experience their own set of health problems, and older women are more economically disadvantaged than older men. They are also more likely to live alone. On the other hand, women have stronger social support systems than men.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2