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    Fewer older senior women have close friends

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    Fewer women in the oldest segments of the population say they still have close friends. There were 1.3 million women aged 75 and older on July 1, 2009—and a large proportion of them live alone.

    In 2006, 82% of women aged 75 and older reported they had at least one close friend. That is down from 85% in 1990. From 1990 to 2006, this age group was the only one to show a decline in reporting at least one close friend. The decline in the share of senior women reporting two or more friends was even sharper, from 76% to 71%.

    Having at least one friend can reduce these women's isolation, as their social circle shrinks with the deaths of family members and friends, the loss of a spouse or partner, a move to a care facility, or activity limitations attributable to poor health.

    Chart 28.4 Seniors with at least one close friend
    View data source for chart 28.4

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