Transition to Old Age and Population Heterogeneity: A Comparison Between Two Latin-American Countries

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 13:00
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Carolina A. GUIDOTTI GONZALEZ, Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay
With the significant gains in life expectancy that has been occurred since the last century in Latin-America, increasingly larger numbers of people reach the ages at which they are considered elderly. Old age have, on average, an approximate range of 20 years, and it could be much larger in the case of some people or specific social groups. Compared to other life stages such as childhood, adolescence or youth, old age appears as a more extensive step, which consequently, may designate a heterogeneous group.    Under this scenario, this work presents a discussion about demarcation of age categories, and more specifically, about the use of an age delimitation as the threshold of entry into old age. In that sense, we ask about the characteristics of older persons,  how that characteristics have been changing in the last decades, and how they vary between different countries.

In this work we compare the characteristics of the transition to old age of men and women of different birth cohorts in two Latin-American countries that are at different stages of their demographic transition: Brazil and Uruguay.

Using data from National Research by Household Sample of both countries, the population characteristics that distinguish elders from adults are analyzed, focusing in three specific areas: the domestic sphere, the labor market and health conditions, attending at the differences by gender and educational levels. From the theoretical life course approach, elderly population is conceived as a heterogeneous group, and hypothesized that such heterogeneity has been increasing since the last decades in both countries but at different rhythms, making the experience of aging more diversified. To this end Entropy analysis is used.