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Projections of white and black older adults without living kin in the United States, 2015 to 2060

“Family members provide the majority of social support for most older adults, but not all individuals have living family. Those without living close kin report higher rates of loneliness and experience elevated risks of chronic diseases and nursing facility placement. How the population of older adults without living family, the kinless population, will change in the coming decades merits consideration. Historical racial differences and recent variation in demographic rates imply unequal burdens of kinlessness for white and black Americans. By projecting the US population using demographic microsimulation, we find increases in lacking kin similar in magnitude to projected increases in other important population health burdens such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia. Increasing kinlessness may represent a growing population health concern.”

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