From gender issues to gender statistics on living arrangements: illustrative examples
||Sources of data
|Are families of lone mothers with children more frequent than families of lone fathers with children? Do these types of families live by themselves or in household with other persons?
||Family nuclei by type of nuclei and type of household
|Are older women more likely than men to live alone in one-person households? Are older women more likely than older men to live with their children?
||Population by sex, age and types of households
|Are skipped generation households (households with children and grandparents, but no parents) more often formed with grandmother only or with grandfather only?
||Detailed types of households
|Are older women more likely than older men to live in institutions?
||Older persons (60+) living in institutions by sex
Surveys on people living in institutions
- + Gender issues
- Living arrangements for women and men are changing (United Nations, 2000b; 2005). Young women and men attend more years of schooling, enter the job market later in life, and they delay their marriage and having children. In some countries, these changes may extend the time youth are living with their parents. Family models are also changing. Many young women and men choose to live in cohabiting unions. Women and men of reproductive age are more often than in the past among the never married, separated or divorced, and they tend to be more often lone parents with children. In particular, lone mothers with young children are more frequent and more likely to be poor than lone fathers with children (United Nations, 2010a). Older persons are increasingly in independent forms of living arrangements, either as couples or as persons living alone, without the economic support or company of their children (United Nations, 2005). These tendencies have been observed mostly in the more developed regions, but lately in the less developed regions as well (United Nations, 2005).
Living arrangements of older persons are different for women than for men (United Nations, 2005). Women tend to live longer than men and they are less likely to remarry after divorce or after their spouses died. As a result, in countries from more developed regions, where the proportion of older persons in independent living arrangements is high, women tend to live alone more often than men (United Nations, 2005). This situation puts women in greater need for outside assistance in case of illness or disability, increasing their likelihood of institutionalization. Older women living alone are also at greater risk of poverty (United Nations, 2010a). By comparison, men’s chances of being unmarried at older ages are lower than women’s chances and therefore they have a lower probability of living alone. However, when they are unmarried, older men are more likely to live alone than unmarried older women (United Nations, 2005).
In the less developed regions, a large majority of older persons live with their children (United Nations, 2005). Still, older women are predominant among the older persons living alone (United Nations, 2005). Older women are also more likely to live in skipped-generation households (United Nations, 2005). These types of households comprise grandparents and grandchildren without the middle generation. They are becoming more common in countries heavily impacted by AIDS or in communities with high temporary migration for work. Both one-person households of older persons and skipped-generation households tend to be economically disadvantaged, unless the household economy benefits from remittances (United Nations, 2005; 2010a).
- + Data needed
Young persons of age 15-29 by sex, age, detailed marital status and type of household. The types of households considered should be constructed based on size of the household and family relationship between the young persons and other household members.
Family nuclei of lone parents with young children (under age 15) by sex of the parent and type of household. At least three types of households should be considered for disaggregation: nuclear households of a lone parent with young children; extended households of a lone parent with young children living with other relatives; and composite households of a lone parent with young children living with non-relatives and with or without relatives). These types of households can be identified based on individual characteristics on sex, age, marital status and family relationships for all household members.
Older persons (60+, and 80+ years old) by sex, marital status, and type of household. At least several types of households should be considered for disaggregation: one-person households; nuclear households where an older person lives with his or her spouse; nuclear households where an older person lives with his/her children and with or without a spouse; extended households where an older person lives with his/her children and other relatives, with or without a spouse; extended households where an older person lives without children but with his/her grandchildren and with or without a spouse; composite households where an older person lives with other relatives and non-relatives and with or without a spouse. These types of household can be identified based on individual characteristics on sex, age, marital status and family relationships for all household members.
Older persons (60+, and 80+ years old) living in institutions by sex and marital status.
Additional breakdowns should be considered for the statistics on population and families living in households, such as urban/rural areas, geographic areas, ethnicity, migration status, and wealth status of the household.
- + Sources of data
Population censuses collect data on sex, age, marital status for all household members and the family relationships among them. Population censuses may also provide sex and age-disaggregated data on people living in institutions.
Household surveys can collect data on sex, age, and detailed marital status for all household members and the family relationships among them. It is important that the household surveys used are large enough to allow for disaggregation of data by various characteristics, including detailed types of households, as presented in the section above.
Surveys on people living in institutions can collect data on population living in institutions such as nursing homes or residential facilities for people with disabilities.
- + Conceptual and measurement issues
- National statistical offices are usually able to produce data on types of households both from population censuses and household surveys. However, most of the time, the classifications routinely used may need to be adjusted for the purpose of identifying certain types of living arrangements that are most relevant from a gender perspective, as shown above, in the section on statistics needed.