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A Profile of Older Americans: 2009

Marital Status

In 2008, older men were much more likely to be married than older women--72% of men, 42% of women (Figure 2). Widows accounted for 42% of all older women in 2008. There were over four times as many widows (8.8 million) as widowers (2.2 million).

Divorced and separated (including married/spouse absent) older persons represented only 11.6% of all older persons in 2008. However, this percentage has increased since 1980, when approximately 5.3% of the older population were divorced or separated/spouse absent.

Figure 2 - Chart shows the gender differences as men are more likely to be married (72% to 42%) and women more likely to be widowed (42% to 14%)

(Based on Internet releases of data from the 2008 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the U.S. Bureau of the Census)

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AoA - Statistics - A Profile of Older Americans 2009 - Living Arrangements