Simply put, there is a silent crisis in America, a crisis of epic proportions: On average, American men live shorter and less-healthy lives than American women. This higher mortality of men leads to striking disparities in life expectancy. The disparity is further illustrated by a study of 1990 data which found a life expectancy of 56.5 years for men living on two South Dakota reservations, and 97 for Asian women living in one New Jersey county.
What does this mean for spouses and families? A study of year 2000 Census data finds that among women married to men approximately the same age, approximately 15% can expect to be widows as they enter retirement. In addition, The U.S. Administration on Aging has found that more than one-half the elderly widows now living in poverty were not poor before the death of their husbands.
To find the retirement ratio for your state, click here.
To find the number of men for every 100 women in each age group, click here.
To read the Administration on Aging report on poverty in aging women, click here.
To read the latest life expectancy data by sex and race, click here.
To find more articles on these issues, go to the Men's Health Library.