Demographic Change and the Living Arrangements of the Elderly: The Case of Brazil
Leticia J. Marteleto, University of Michigan
The demographic transition Brazil has been through in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in unprecedented increases of cohorts of older adults and smaller family sizes. As population ages and family size declines, it becomes crucial to understand how families adjust to their changing social and demographic environment. In particular, the well-being of older persons is a growing policy concern worldwide. Yet, the consequences of these demographic shifts for the elderly often are not well understood, especially in developing countries. This study uses unique nationally representative data collected yearly over a period of three decades to employ a cohort analysis in which the living arrangements of several cohorts of elderly are traced. This study’s cohorts were of childbearing ages prior to, during, and after Brazil’s rapid fertility decline. Smaller families mean fewer children for support and exchange later in life, which may result in fewer intergenerational households.