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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

2. Family Members and Households

The most common profile of a member of the sandwich generation is of a married person with grown children and living parents.

Parents: Seventy percent of the cohort still have at least one living parent. As the breakdown in table 4 indicates, African Americans are the most likely to have lost both parents (38%). More African Americans have mothers still living (34% of the cohort) than fathers (38% of the cohort), reflecting the longer life expectancy of women.

Members of the younger half of the cohort more often have parents who are still alive. The difference in illness, care needs, and parental deaths between the younger and older portions of the generation are striking and reflected throughout the findings in this study. Clearly, the 50-to-55-year olds face the most parental needs.

There are also strong differences among the older boomers based on their own health and employment status. Fully 47 percent of those who have poor health have lost both parents, while this is true for only one-fourth of those in excellent health. Forty-one percent of the unemployed have lost both parents, a proportion that greatly exceeds the 27 percent figure among those employed full time.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 17

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