Marital status has long been associated with social and economic vulnerability, namely unmarried individuals were seen as more vulnerable than the married. The current study examines gender inequalities in household income among older Israeli widowed, divorced, and never-married individuals. Israel provides an interesting case for examining the distinction between different marital statuses over time due to demographic, socioeconomic and policy changes that transpired during three distinct decades—the early 1990s, early 2000s, and early 2010s. We found that the unmarried have lower household income as compared to the married; however, in terms of income per capita, unmarried men appear to have higher income than that of married men, in contrast to unmarried women—particularly those divorced and widowed—who are clearly at a disadvantage as compared to married women and to men in general. We also found that over time, gender inequality increased among the divorced but decreased among the widowed. Sociodemographic changes as well as transformations in the Israeli labor market, welfare state and pension schemes explain our findings.
- Marital Status
- Older Adults