Living Arrangements of the Elderly in India: Who Lives Alone and What Are the Patterns of Familial Support?

Apoorva Jadhav, University of Pennsylvania
K.M. Sathyanarayana, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Sanjay Kumar, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
K. S. James, Institute for Social and Economic Change

This paper identifies which elderly are most likely to live alone and is the first in a series of multi-topic papers on ageing in seven states covering all regions of India. We examine the extent of familial support these elderly receive from children- both instrumental and in-kind. In analyzing a new survey: Building a Knowledge Base on Population Aging in India (BKBPAI) of 9,852 elderly, we find the majority of elderly co-reside with other family members, but that 6% live alone and 16% live only with their spouse. Women are more likely to live alone, due to higher widowhood rates, as are the illiterate, poor and socially marginalized. Out-migration among children emerges as an important reason for elderly living alone. Elders living alone are more likely to receive monetary transfers and frequent interaction with children, indicating more familial support compared to elderly in co-residential living arrangements.

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Presented in Poster Session 5