77.3 million baby boomers face bleak future

April 17th, 2012 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 17 (IANS) An estimated 77.3 million baby boomers, one of the largest generations in history, face a bleak future and the growing prospect of alienation as they cross into old age, says a new statistical study.

Baby boomers were born during the demographic Post-World War phase between 1946 and 1964 in the US. Most single boomers are divorced or never married and one-third of adults aged 45-63 years are still unmarried, the study said.

This represents a more than 50 percent increase since 1980, when just 20 percent of middle-aged Americans were unmarried.

Using data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses and the 2009 round of the American Community Survey, I-Fen Lin, associate professor of sociology and Susan Brown, professor of sociology, from the Bowling Green State University, found one in three single baby boomers has never married.

In fact, Just 10 percent of unmarried boomers are widowed, according to a Bowling Green statement.

“The shift in marital composition of the middle-aged suggests that researchers and policymakers can no longer focus on widowhood in later life and should pay attention to the vulnerabilities of the never-married and divorced as well,” said Lin.

One in five single baby boomers is living in poverty compared to one in 20 for their married counterparts. Single boomers are twice as likely to be disabled, but they are also less likely to have health insurance, said Brown, also director of Bowling Green’s National Centre for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR).

Of particular concern is the large share of unmarried boomers who have never been married. According to the researchers, the probability of marrying for the first time during middle age is extremely low, meaning that nearly all of the never married boomers will remain unmarried.

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