Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone
After rising steadily for nearly a century, the share of older Americans who live alone has fallen since 1990, largely because women ages 65 to 84 are increasingly likely to live with their spouse or their children. The likelihood of living alone has grown since 1990 for older men and for women ages 85 and up.
Between 1900 and 1990, the share of adults ages 65 and older living alone increased nearly fivefold, from 6% to 29%. This growth was spurred by a host of factors, including improved health and longevity among older Americans and the economic security that came with social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare. 1