A Worsening Trend of Life Satisfaction among the Chinese Elderly from 1992 to 2002

Zhenmei Zhang, Michigan State University

Research on elder’s life satisfaction is growing across different ethnic groups and nations in recent decades. Yet little is known about changes in life satisfaction among the elders over time in transitional societies, such as China, where the social structural reforms and economic development have dramatically reshaped social values and people’s expectations. Using data from the 1992 Old-Age Support Survey of the Chinese Elderly and the 2002 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study examines the changes in life satisfaction among a total of 22,203 subjects aged 65 and over in thirteen provinces in China from 1992 to 2002 after accounting for individual sociodemographics, social support, healthcare accessibility, and health status plus macro socioeconomic development. We find that there is a worsening trend in life satisfaction among the Chinese elderly, especially among the lonely elders. Underlying causes and policy implications are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 2