Chuks J. Mba


The paper addresses the demographic and socioeconomic correlates of living arrangements of women aged 60 years and over in Lesotho using the 1996 Census of Lesotho data file. Simple cross-tabular and multivariate techniques are applied to the household distribution of the census. The results show that a majority of elderly women in the country are widows, live in the rural areas, have had little education, and dwell in extended family households of which a significant proportion of them are the head. The findings further indicate that the age of the women’s surviving children, and advancing age of the elderly themselves are important factors contributing to kin coresidence of the Lesotho elderly female population. The propensity of coresidence is found to increase with advancing age, while higher levels of educational attainment have significant negative correlation with the likelihood of kin coresidence. A combination of fertility decline, migration, and urbanization puts the older women in a disadvantaged position since there are fewer adult children available to provide support and care, and there is no universal non- familial social security system.

Author Biography

Chuks J. Mba, MBA, Ph.D., United Nations Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana. This research was conducted while Chuks J. Mba (Mbamaonyeukwu, C.J.) was a visiting scholar with the African Census Analysis Project (ACAP) at the Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania.