a1 Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.
a2 Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
During recent decades, Lebanon has experienced demographic and social changes which, coupled with political instability, have led to waves of youth migration and a higher proportion of older adults living alone. This paper uses the 2004 data of the ‘Pan Arab Project for Family Health’ to assess the levels of various living arrangements and to examine the correlates of living alone, with a focus on economic resources. The findings reveal that 12 per cent of older adults in Lebanon lived alone (17.3 per cent of women and 6.2 per cent of men). Financially better-off older adults and those who reported being satisfied with their income were, respectively, 4.4 and 1.7 times significantly more likely to live alone than their counterparts. The incomes of Lebanese older adults were mainly provided by their children (74.8%) and a relatively small share derived from pension schemes. Contrary to findings from other Arab countries, variations in living arrangements among Lebanese older adults seem to follow the western model whereby wealthier older individuals are more likely to live alone and to be residentially independent. Further studies are warranted to examine to what extent this trend is the result of past migration of adult children who are now established elsewhere and sending remittances home.
(Accepted May 26 2010)
(Online publication August 09 2010)
c1 Address for correspondence: Abla Mehio Sibai, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, PO Box 11-0236, Riad el Solh 1107 2020, Beirut, Lebanon. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org