Portugal, a southern European country, is expected to exhibit a relatively large proportion of extended households. However, following some general trends associated with large social transformations, Portugal is also expected to have an increasingly larger proportion of nuclear families. We use data from the eight waves of ECHP (European Community Household Panel), covering the years from 1994 to 2001, to establish whether these expectations are justified. Among the nuclear households that include elderly members, we isolate those corresponding to single-person households, since they are particularly relevant for policy purposes. Separate analyses are carried out for the elderly with health problems and for those with no health problems, in order to detect different patterns of living arrangements. We also project the living arrangements until 2005, based on an age-period-cohort analysis. We find that the extended households are a very significant form of living arrangement with reference to the Portuguese elderly, and a living arrangement whose importance is not declining over time. In particular, the oldest old constitutes the group that tends to be found living most frequently in extended households, while those with health problems start much earlier than those with no health problems to live in extended households as they grow older. The proportion of individuals aged 65+ living alone has somewhat decreased, but the proportion of this type of household largely increases with age.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 26, 2008
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