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May 2004
Vol. 5, no. 5

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Income replacement among recent widows
Richard V. Burkhauser, Philip Giles, Dean R. Lillard, and Johannes Schwarze

  • One year after the death of her husband, a widow's income, adjusted for household size, is very similar to what it was the year before. The 'income replacement rate' of the median widow increased according to the age of her husband at death, ranging from 82% for those whose husbands died at less than age 55, to 98% for husbands who died at 75 or older.
  • The financial situation of widows in Canada one year after the death of their husbands compares favourably with that of widows in the United States, Great Britain and Germany.

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Richard V. Burkhauser and Dean R. Lillard are with Cornell University. Johannes Schwarze is with Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. Philip Giles is with the Income Statistics Division and can be reached at (613) 951-2891 or

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