Fertility decline, family structure, and support for older persons in Latin America and Asia

Karen Glaser, Emily M. Agree, Elizabeth Costenbader, Antonio Camargo, Belkis Trench, Josefina Natividad, Yi Li Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare family structures and support for older persons in two Asian countries (Taiwan and the Philippines) and six urban areas in Latin America (Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Havana, Santiago, Mexico City, and Montevideo). Methods: Using the 1999 Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan, the 2000 Philippine Survey of the Near Elderly and Elderly, and the 2001 Pan American Health Organisation surveys on Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe, descriptive tables show variations across countries in family structure, proximity, and transfers of support by the timing of the fertility transition in each location. Results: Older people in settings with earlier transitions had fewer children and more childlessness, higher levels of solitary living, and lower levels of coresidence with children. In earlier transition settings, receipt of family support was lower and provision higher. Discussion: The timing of the demographic transition has significant implications for kin availability and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-291
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Asia
  • Elderly people
  • Family support
  • Kin availability
  • Latin America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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