Living arrangements of the elderly in the developing world: An analysis of DHS household surveys
Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 57B(3): S145-S157
Publication date: 2002
This study examines living arrangements of olderadults across 43 developing countries and compares patternsby gender, world regions, and macro-level indicators of socioeconomicdevelopment.
Data are from Demographic and Health Surveys. The countryis the unit of analysis. Indicators include household size,headship, relationship to head, and coresidence with spouse,children, and others. Unweighted regional averages and ordinaryleast-squares regressions determine whether variations exist.
Average household sizes are large, but a substantiallygreater proportion of older adults live alone than do individualsin other age groups. Females are more likely than males to livealone and are less likely to live with a spouse or head of ahousehold. Heading a household and living in a large householdand with young children is more prevalent in Africa than elsewhere.Coresidence with adult children is most common in Asia and leastin Africa. Coresidence is more frequent with sons than withdaughters in both Asia and Africa, but not in Latin America.As a country's level of schooling rises, most living arrangementindicators change with families becoming more nuclear. Urbanizationand gross national product have no significant effects.
Although living arrangements differ across worldregions and genders, within-region variations exist and areexplained in part by associations between countrywide levelsof education and household structure. These associations maybe caused by a variety of intermediating factors, such as migrationof children and preferences for privacy.