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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

I. Review of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the Sandwich Generation

The survey of older baby boomers included large oversamples of African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, enabling us to draw more certain conclusions about the characteristics of minority members of the cohort. While differences that we found are woven throughout this report, this section offers a summary profile of each racial and ethnic group. Some of the data are summarized in tables 47 and 48.

1. African Americans

African Americans make up about 11 percent of the sandwich generation.

Family life: African American members of the generation are the most likely to have lost their parents and the least likely to be married. Instead, African Americans rely more on sibling relationships and are more likely than others to have children to provide assistance.

  • Like other members of the cohort, a large majority (86%) of the African Americans say that family is the most important thing in their lives. They enjoy spending time with their families (87%) and indicate that their families give them strength (82%).

  • Thirty-eight percent of African American older boomers report that neither of their parents is living, compared with 30 percent of the total. Similarly, African Americans are also the least likely to have both parents alive (18%, as opposed to the 28% average).

  • Like other members of the generation, nearly nine out of ten of the African Americans have children. The African Americans, however, tend to have more children. Twenty-six percent have four children or more; in the general population, only 18 percent have four or more.

  • Fewer African Americans in the cohort still have children under 21 at home (27%), compared with other older baby boomers generally (32%).

  • In their households now, African Americans members who don't live alone are more likely (24%) to have children 21 or older living with them than are the non- Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management

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