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Living Conditions Survey (ULF/SILC):

Seven out of ten people aged 85 and older have a close friend

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2018-04-24 9.30

Among people aged 85 and older, 72 percent have a close friend whom they can talk to about anything. In the whole population, aged 16 and older, the corresponding number is higher, 87 percent. Older people also live alone to a greater extent than young people.

The percentage of those who have a close friend increased by 9 percentage points among people aged 85 and older, from 63 percent to 72 percent between 2008–2009 and 2016–2017. In the same period, the percentage of those in the whole population aged 16 and older who have a close friend increased from 84 to 87 percent. Any cohabiting partner is not included as a close friend.

Having a close friend is more common among women than among men, and is less common with rising age. Among those aged 16 to 44, it is relatively common to have a close friend, and about nine out of ten men and women have one. Among men, the percentage of those with a close friend falls gradually with rising age even before old age pension age, while women continue to have a close friend longer. Among the oldest men, aged 85 and older, 68 percent had a close friend in 2016–2017, while among the oldest women, the percentage was slightly higher, 75 percent.

In the whole population aged 16 and older, 25 percent were single persons living alone in 2016–2017. Among the oldest people, aged 85 and older, single persons living alone are considerably more common, and a significantly higher percentage of women live alone compared to men: 84 percent compared to 53 percent.

Percentage of men and women aged 16 and older, and aged 85 and older who live alone or have a close friend. 2016–2017. Percent


Source: Living Conditions Surveys (ULF/SILC)

Other results of the 2016–2017 ULF/SILC

• One out of three gainfully employed persons is physically exhausted after work at least once a week.

• Nearly one out of three gainfully employed persons is mentally exhausted after work at least once a week.

• The percentage of those who have ownership rights (one- or two-dwelling building) is higher among people with a Swedish background (Swedish born with at least one parent born in Sweden) compared to foreign born persons.

• Nearly one in five persons lack a cash margin for unexpected expenses. This is more common among younger people. In the age group 25–34, about one in four people lack a cash margin compared with about one in eight people in the aged group 65–74.

• Three in four people aged 25–34 and 75–84 have access to a car.

• Nearly seven out of ten people aged 16 and older use eyeglasses or contact lenses. In all age groups between 16 and 54 years, this percentage is higher among women than among men.

• Seven out of ten gainfully employed people aged 16-74 with employment as their main activity are members of a trade union or employer organisation.

• Nearly half of the population is socially active, that is, writes or posts pictures, on the internet every week, on for instance Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This percentage is somewhat higher among women than among men.

• More than one in five employees works in shifts or on a schedule in which working hours are scheduled during different times of the day. Shift work is more common among young people than among old people.

• In the past 12 months, five percent of the population aged 16 and older have been subjected to threats of violence or other threats that were so serious that they were frightened. Three percent have been subjected to violence at some point over the past 12 months.

Statistics Sweden is publishing this information today, together with other new results from the (ULF/SILC) 2016–2017 Survey on Living Conditions on Working environment, Housing, Economy and material assets, Health, Social relationships, Civic activities, Employment and Security. In addition, statistics on foreign born persons by selected country of birth groups are presented.

Next publishing will be

2018-05-31 at 09:30.

Statistical Database

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Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Social Welfare Statistics Unit

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Göran Nordström

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Philip Andö

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