Elderly widowhood in China Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2014

start page

  • 7

end page

  • 16


  • 1


  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1744-1730

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1744-1749


  • As population ageing accelerates in China, the number of elderly widowed individuals are expected to increase. Using 2010 census data we estimate widowhood indices for rural and urban areas, and for men and women in China. The indices show that the probability of elderly widowhood to be higher for females (0.68) than males (0.32)-with no rural and urban difference. An average marriage in China lasts about 47 years. After the death of a spouse, the average duration of widowhood is about 11 years for males and about 15 years for females. Spousal age difference has a significant impact on widowhood indices. Rural populations have the shortest marriage duration and the youngest widowhood age, and longer widowhood duration.


  • widowhood; life table; marriage duration; widowhood age; widowhood duration