HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION / WOMEN AS CAREGIVERS
In 2003, 50.3 percent of adult women were married and living
with a spouse. Over 10 percent of women were the head of a household,
meaning that they had children or other relatives living in their
household, but no spouse. Another 16.6 percent of adult women
in the home of a parent or other relative. Almost 15 percent of
adult women lived alone, and nearly 7 percent were living with
The households in which women live have a variety of structures.
For instance, among women living with a spouse, just over 2 percent
lived with their spouse in someone else’s home (such as with
parents or roommates). In 2003, almost 5 million women lived in
unmarried-partner households. Of these women, 93.5 percent lived
with a male partner and the other 6.5 percent lived with a female
partner.1 Many women also live with their adult children or their
grandchildren. In 2000 there were 3.7 million women living with
their grandchildren, compared to just over 2 million men.2
Women often function as caregivers for the people with whom they
live, or for other relatives or friends. One out of every four people
is a caregiver for a family member or friend, and, in the absence
of an able spouse, a daughter or daughter-in-law is most likely
to assume the role of caregiver.3 Approximately 75 percent of caregivers
for older family members and friends are female.4 Of the 2.4 million
grandparents who live with and are responsible for grandchildren,
63 percent are women.
1 U.S. Census Bureau. 2003 American Community Survey
Summary Tables. American FactFinder, Table PCT008.
2 U.S. Census Bureau. Grandparents living with grandchildren:
2000. Census 2000 Brief, October 2003.
3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration
on Aging. Snapshot: National Family Caregiver Support Program.
4 Family Caregiver Alliance. Selected caregiver statistics. http://www.caregiver.org