Home Alone: Determinants of Living Alone among Elderly Immigrants in Canada and the U.S.

Sharon M. Lee, University of Victoria
Barry Edmonston, University of Victoria
Zheng Wu, University of Victoria

We use 2006 Canadian census and 2006 American Community Survey data to examine determinants of living alone among non-married older immigrants, aged 55 and older, in Canada and the U.S. Lower percentages of older immigrants in both countries live alone compared to native-born elderly, but the large gaps are substantially reduced once various explanatory variables are taken into account. Comparisons of four gender/country groups of older immigrants (female/Canada, male/Canada, female/U.S., male/U.S.) confirm the positive effects of economic (income, education, homeownership) and acculturation (duration of residence, language proficiency) factors on living alone among older immigrants. With few exceptions, determinants of living alone are similar for older immigrants in Canada and the U.S., suggesting that living alone is mainly explained by a combination of economic and acculturation factors, taking demographic variables into account.

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Presented in Session 127: Living Alone