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A Profile of Older Americans: 2003

Marital Status

In 2002, older men were much more likely to be married than older women--73% of men, 41% of women (Figure 2). Almost half of all older women in 2002 were widows (46%). There were over four times as many widows (8.9 million) as widowers (2.0 million).

Divorced and separated (including married/spouse absent) older persons represented only 10% of all older persons in 2002. However, this percentage has increased since 1980, when approximately 5.3% of the older population were divorced or separated/spouse absent.

Figure 2: Marital Status of Persons 65+ - 2002

(Based on Internet releases of data from the 2002 Current Population Survey of the U.S. Bureau of the Census)

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