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Childless Older Adults

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Definition

Childless people are persons who do not have children. In the following, “older childless” are people in the second half of their life (50 and over) without children. Childlessness can be a voluntarily decision or an involuntary fact, and few older people also outlived their children.

Overview

Fertility and specifically childlessness are important topics in nowadays discussions about population aging across Western societies. Having fewer or even no children does not only affect lives on the individual and family level, but it also puts modern welfare states under pressure. Especially countries with pay-as-you-go pension schemes face challenges to ensure pensions with less contributors (smaller workforce) and more receivers (more pensioners) (Lee 2003). Apart from guaranteeing social security in an aging society, the adequate provision of care for frail older people is also at risk (Colombo et al. 2011). Many welfare states rely on the family to ensure old age care...

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Correspondence to Christian Deindl .

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Deindl, C., Brandt, M. (2019). Childless Older Adults. In: Gu, D., Dupre, M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_821-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_821-1

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-69892-2

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