Almost Half of Women Over 65 In The Czech Republic Live Alone

According to Eurostat, 44% of women over 65 in the Czech Republic live alone. This is in contrast with men of the same age, where the corresponding figure is around one in five. While women are more likely to outlive their spouses, men are also more likely to remarry, and marry younger spouses when they do. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep., Jul 2 (BD) – Older women in the Czech Republic are more likely to live alone than in most other EU countries, and also than older Czech men. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reports that 44% of women aged over 65 live alone in the Czech Republic, in contrast with around one in five of men of the same age.

At nearly half, the Czech Republic has one of the highest proportions of older women living alone in the EU, behind Latvia (49%), and Slovenia and Germany (45%). These figures include only private households, and exclude people living in collective or institutional accommodation.

Men, on the other hand, end up alone a lot less often; all EU countries report a higher percentage of older women in single-occupancy households than men, with an average difference of 21%. One possible explanation is that women tend to live longer; as an EU average, women make up 58% of the over-65 population, while in Latvia, the country with the highest rate of older women living alone, this figure rises to 67%.

Men in the Czech Republic are, on average, two years older than their partners, roughly the same as for the continent as a whole, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Combined with the difference in life expectancy, which is around 3.5 years in the Czech Republic (slightly above the EU average), a crude mean suggests that men die roughly five and a half years before their wives.

Another relevant factor is that women over 65 are much less likely than men to remarry after a divorce or the death of their spouse. According to a separate study by the Pew Research Center, 65% of men over 65 have remarried in the United States, compared to a much lower 40% of women. Men also remarry a lot younger in their second or later marriages, with roughly 20% of men remarrying a bride ten or more years their junior, and a further 18% marrying a woman between six and nine years younger.

While no comparable research exists on remarriage in Europe, the numbers in the Czech Republic seem consistent: the percentage of over-65 men who are married is significantly higher than women of the same age, while women are more likely to remain alone after a divorce or the loss of a spouse.

MenAged 65-69Aged 70-7475+
Divorced, never remarried16%12%6%
Widowed, never remarried6%9%22%
Marital status of men in the Czech Republic by age. Data source: UN World Marriage Data 2018.
WomenAged 65-69Aged 70-7475+
Divorced, never remarried18%14%9%
Widowed, never remarried22%34%65%
Marital status of women in the Czech Republic by age. Data source: UN World Marriage Data 2018.
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