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Widowhood, institutionalisation and death

Michel Poulain, Université Catholique de Louvain

The widowhood is the most important demographic and socio-economic event for the elderly. The first impact of widowhood concerns the living arrangement: living alone, joining a child’s household, remarry or entering an institution. We intend to estimate this impact on changes of living arrangements and mainly on the probability to enter an institution. The behaviour of widowed persons will be characterised starting at widowhood and compared with single or ever married persons of the same age observed during the same period. Thereafter mortality of newly-widowed persons will be estimated and compared with the level of mortality observed among single or ever-married persons. A special attention will be devoted to mortality of widowed persons depending their living arrangements and more specifically widowed persons entering an institution. In order to develop these comparisons, all newly-widowed persons in Belgium between 1991 and 2001 will be considered and observed until the 1st January 2002.

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Presented in Session 187: The consequences of marital dissolution