Unmarried baby boomer counterparts fare much worse in terms of economic, health, and social outcomes as compared to married ones, says a new study.
In 2011, the first of the 79 million American baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) attained 65 years of age. In this population, approximately one in three people are unmarried; the vast majority are either divorced or never-married, while only 10 percent are widowed, reported a special issue of the journal The Gerontologist.
I-Fen Lin and Susan L. Brown, sociologists from Bowling Green State University, in Ohio in the US, using data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Census and the 2009 American Community Survey-found that the number of boomers that are unmarried has grown by more than 50 percent since 1980, and that these singles also face increasing difficulties.
"Unmarried boomers are disproportionately women, younger, and non-white," the authors state, according to a university statement.
"They tend to have fewer economic resources and poorer health. The prevalence of disability is twice as high among unmarrieds and marrieds," they added. And despite this higher rate of disability, single boomers are less likely to have health insurance.
Among women, widows appear to be the most disadvantaged as they enjoy fewer economic resources and have poorer health than divorced and never-married women. In contrast, those who never married are the least advantaged among men.
Despite having relatively high levels of education, never-married men have poorer economic circumstances and are most likely to live alone.