a1 Successful Ageing, ACT, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
a2 Department of Demography, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
Data on a nationally representative sample of ever-married white American women born in 1900–1910 show living arrangements to be closely associated with the quality of the ageing experience (with, that is, whether these women were ageing ‘successfully’). The proportions ageing ‘successfully’ were highest among those living only with their husbands, and lowest among those living with kin other than their husbands. In between, but much closer in position to the women living only with their husbands, were those who were living alone. The paper looks at explanations accounting for these differences and considers some of the policy implications of these findings.