Socioeconomic and Demographic Disparities in Trends in Old-Age Disability

Edited by Robert F. Schoeni, Vicki A. Freedman and Linda G. Martin

in Health at Older Ages

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780226132310
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226132327 | DOI:
Socioeconomic and Demographic Disparities in Trends in Old-Age Disability

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This chapter reviews the changes in disparities in old-age disability across socioeconomic and demographic groups, including education, income, race/ethnicity, age, gender, marital status, and region of residence. Declines in disability among older people living in the South remain significantly greater than those for people living in the West and Midwest. The chapter reveals that old-age disability rates among all major socioeconomic and demographic groups have declined over the past two decades, but the magnitude of the fall has been larger for those who have a high income, more years of education, are married, and are younger. Disparities in disability generally have increased. The analysis indicates that trends cannot be attributed to changes in the size or makeup of the nursing home population. Changes over time in the physical environment in which older people live and work may also be influencing disability rates differentially by demographic and socioeconomic status.

Keywords: disparities; old-age disability; education; income; ethnicity; age; gender; residence; marital status

Chapter.  9603 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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