Presentation on theme: "Trends in living arrangements of older adults in Belgium 1991-2013 Anne Herm, Luc Dal and Michel Poulain."— Presentation transcript:
Trends in living arrangements of older adults in Belgium Anne Herm, Luc Dal and Michel Poulain
Research question In the context of Population ageing, more specifically in line with steadily improvements in longevity, Second Demographic Transition and associated changes in demographic behaviours Significant changes are expected in the living arrangements of older people.
Living arrangement: an interesting concept to study post-modern societies The living arrangement specifies with whom a person is living, e.g. alone, with a spouse, with others but without a spouse, or in a collective household. It is individual and not household characteristic. Compared to legal marital status living arrangements describe the real co-residence situation of each person with other persons in the household by considering their family or non-family relationships and their marital status.
Detailed typology of living arrangements A. Persons living alone Never married living alone Widowed living alone Divorced or separated living alone B. Persons living in a private household Person living with spouse in a married couple (with or without child(ren) or with other persons that are family-related or not) Person cohabiting with partner and with or without child(ren) C. Persons living in a collective household Never married living in a collective household Widowed living in a collective household Divorced or separated living in a collective household
Theoretical background (Impact of longevity improvement) Steadily improvements in health and survival will have a large impact on changes in the share of older people by living arrangement Proportion of men and women still live with spouse in old age becomes larger; this tendency is particularly true for women and reduces the proportion of widows at each age. Health improvement means that older people are more able to live alone and will stay living alone longer
Theoretical background (impact of the SDT) (1) The SDT impacts living arrangements in two ways: Change in the demographic behaviours of old adults is expected like more late divorces, less remarriage, more cohabitation or LAT. People who where involved in demographic and social processes at the earlier stages of the SDT joined progressively the population group of older people.
Theoretical background (impact of the SDT) (2) Among the various traits of the SDT that could affect LA of older people Increased individualisation and higher propensity to live alone Changes in family formation and more variety in family composition and patterns of living arrangements postponement of parenthood and less children Less married, more divorced and cohabitation and less remarriage
Research hypotheses (H1) H1. More old people are living alone both in absolute and relative terms, particularly among incoming younger generations of older adults
Research hypotheses (H2) H2. Among those living alone, the share of divorced or separated old persons increases whilst the part of widowed decreases.
Research hypotheses (H3) H3. More old people both in absolute and relative terms still live with their spouse in old age. However counterbalancing factors are acting and the trends could fluctuate and differ by age. Also more old persons are cohabiting with an unmarried partner.
Research hypotheses (H4) H4. When independency could become progressively crucial at 80 years and over, living with other persons but not with spouse become less frequent in absolute and relative terms. Relatively less old people are living in nursing homes but still absolute numbers increase due to combined effect of partially compensating factors.
Data used The basic data used for analysis of trends in elderly living arrangements is extracted from the Belgian National Population Register. Population of interest is persons aged 65+. The generations starting at age 50 will be considered when needed to understand current and future trends in living arrangements; it includes 3.2 million persons on 1 January 1991 and increases up to 4.1 millions on 1 January 2013.
Absolute and relative increases of the male and female populations aged 65+
Change of the distribution of people aged 65+ by living arrangement groups (1991=100%)
Number of men and women living alone by age, , and
Proportion by marital status of men and women living alone,
Number of men and women living with spouse by age, , and
Number of men and women cohabiting with partner by age, , and
Proportion by marital status of persons cohabiting with partner,
Living arrangement of the oldest olds at age 80 and above Main trends Never married are, in both relative and absolute terms increasingly living alone Ever married are in absolute terms increasingly living with spouse or alone but in relative terms increasingly only with spouse
Never married aged 80+ by living arrangements,
Ever married aged 80+ by living arrangements,
Discussion General trends The trends in living arrangements of older people are different in absolute and relative terms The trends in living arrangements of older men and women are only partly similar
Similarities by gender The trend in co-residence with other people decreased equally form men and women Living in collective households (an increase in 1990s but a decrease emerges later) The number of both men and women living with children but without spouse shows a sharp decrease for men since the beginning and a more recent for women.
Divergences by gender For those living with spouse (only small increase for men and decrease thereafter, but 20% increase in women, mostly in 1990s). Among those solo living (for men decrease in share in 1990s but rapid increase in last decade, for women decrease and stability). Those living with same sex partner present fully opposite trends by gender (strongest increase for men and larger decrease for women). Among 80+, the majority of ever-married men are living with their spouse, but for women most are widowed and live alone.
Limitations and further work (1) Limitations linked to administrative data and the absence of information on the health status, The difficulty to address the new tendencies of couples that are living apart and together, the so-called LAT, and limited details on the socio-economic conditions.
Limitations and further work (2) Period and cohort effects have to be disantangle to better forecast future trends and implications. Counterbalancing effects affecting some trends should be investigated by considering separately inflows and outflows in these LA.