New Study from Population and Development Review Finds Rising Need, Reassurances
NEW YORK (29 June 2015) — There has been much recent discussion in the press of the plight of the so-called “sandwich generation,” that is, adults who are responsible for the care of children as well as aging parents. The need for simultaneous childcare and eldercare is a reality that can limit families’—particularly women’s—opportunities for paying work.
A new study by social scientists Emilio Zagheni and Denys Dukhovnov for the first time drills down into US statistics about who is providing this care, and who is receiving it. The study found that in 2012, adults in the United States provided more than a billion hours of unpaid caregiving every week—equal to the work of 30.5 million full-time caregivers. The researchers project a rise in the need for such care, reveal some surprises about who is providing care, and provide some reassurances about the future. The study appears in the June 2015 issue of Population and Development Review, a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Council.