Section 4: Living arrangements, family life, and medical experiences
4.1. Are there differences in marital status among women and men with and without activity limitations?
Based on estimates from the 1992 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), married people constitute 65% of people in the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States, 18 years and older. However, analysis of the NHIS reveals that women with activity limitations have lower rates of being married, compared to other women and men with or without activity limitations. Only 50% or 9.1 million of the 18.2 million women with activity limitations are currently married. In contrast, 64% of women with no activity limitation, 68% of men with activity limitation, and 69% of men with no activity limitation are married. These differences are probably due to women's greater longevity, especially since the women with activity limitations have higher rates of being widowed. Only 44% of women with severe activity limitations (unable to carry on major activity) are married and these women have higher rates of being divorced than women with less severe limitations.
Women with activity limitations are less often currently married and more often widowed, compared to the other groups.
Figure 19: Marital status, by activity limitation status and gender, 18 and older
Source: LaPlante & Carlson (1996), Table 1.
Surveys: NHIS, 1992