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A Profile of Older Americans: 2006

Marital Status

In 2005, older men were much more likely to be married than older women--72% of men, 42% of women (Figure 2). Almost half of all older women in 2005 were widows (43%). There were over four times as many widows (8.6 million) as widowers (2.1 million).

Divorced and separated (including married/spouse absent) older persons represented only 10.8% of all older persons in 2005. 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 and  women more likely to be widowed

(Based on Internet releases of data from the 2005 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 2006 - Living Arrangements