40.4 million people provided eldercare in 2013–14

September 28, 2015

Sixteen percent (40.4 million) of the civilian noninstitutional population age 15 and older provided unpaid eldercare over the 2013–14 period. Eldercare providers are defined as people who provide unpaid care to someone age 65 or older who needs help because of a condition related to aging. People ages 45 to 64 were the most likely to provide eldercare (23 percent), followed by those age 65 and older (17 percent).

Percent of the U.S. population who were eldercare providers, 2013–14 averages
Characteristic Total Men Women

Total, 15 years and over

16.1 14.2 17.9

15 to 24 years

11.4 9.9 13.0

25 to 34 years

9.0 8.1 9.9

35 to 44 years

12.8 11.9 13.6

45 to 54 years

22.9 20.9 24.9

55 to 64 years

23.3 21.1 25.4

65 years and over

17.2 13.8 20.0

Among all eldercare providers, 44 percent cared for a parent, 16 percent cared for a grandparent, and 7 percent provided eldercare for a spouse or unmarried partner. Twenty-two percent provided eldercare for another related person, and 18 percent cared for a friend or neighbor. The percentage of men who provided eldercare for another related person (24 percent) was higher than that for women (21 percent). Seven percent provided eldercare for a spouse or unmarried partner.

Percent of eldercare providers by relationship to care recipient, 2013–14 averages
Relationship Total Men Women

Caring for a parent

43.8 43.4 44.2

Caring for another related person

22.1 24.4 20.5

Caring for a friend or neighbor

18.1 18.9 17.6

Caring for a grandparent(1)

16.3 16.2 16.4

Caring for a spouse or unmarried partner(2)

6.7 5.9 7.2

Caring for someone else

5.5 5.0 5.8
Footnotes:

(1) Refers only to persons caring for a grandparent who did not live with them. Persons caring for a grandparent with whom they lived are included in the category "Caring for another related person."

(2) Care for a spouse or unmarried partner may be underreported.

Note: Categories sum to more than 100 percent because some eldercare providers cared for more than one person.

The duration of time that people provided unpaid eldercare varied in 2013–14. Nearly one-half of eldercare providers did so for 2 years or less, while 15 percent provided care for 10 years or more. Men (18 percent) were more likely than women (14 percent) to provide eldercare for 10 years or more. Twenty percent of eldercare providers did so for 5 to 9 years and 17 percent provided care for 3 to 4 years.

Eldercare providers by duration of care, 2013–14 averages
Duration(1) Total Men Women

Provided care for less than 1 year

21.2 18.5 23.1

Provided care for 1 to 2 years

26.1 24.7 27.1

Provided care for 3 to 4 years

17.2 18.9 16.0

Provided care for 5 to 9 years

20.3 20.4 20.3

Provided care for 10 years or more

15.2 17.5 13.5

Footnotes:

(1) For people who provided eldercare to more than 1 person, the duration of care is calculated based on the person for whom they had cared the longest.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "Unpaid Eldercare in the United States — 2013–14 Data from the American Time Use Survey" (HTML) (PDF). Unpaid eldercare can be provided to household or nonhousehold members, as well as people living in retirement homes or assisted care facilities.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 40.4 million people provided eldercare in 2013–14 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/40-million-people-provided-eldercare-in-2013-14.htm (visited May 26, 2016).

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