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Some Stats about Caregivers

Compiled by the National Family Caregivers Association

  • Caregiving is no longer predominantly a women's issue. Men now make up 44% of the caregiving population.
    Source: National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) Random Sample Survey of 1000 Adults, Funded by CareThere.com, Summer, 2000.
  • Virtually one half of the US population has a chronic condition. Of these 41 million were limited in their daily activities. Twelve million are unable to go to school, to work, or to live independently.
    Source: Chronic Care in America (Institute for Health & Aging, Univ. of CA/SF for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) 1996
  • People over 85 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the population. Half of them need some help with personal care.
    Source: US Bureau of the Census Statistical Brief, Sixty Five Plus in the United States, May 1995
  • The pool of family caregivers is dwindling. In 1990 there were 11 potential caregivers for each person needing care. In 2050 that ratio will be 4:1.
    Source: Chronic Care in America - as above
  • Sixty-one percent (61%) of "intense" family caregivers (those providing at least 21 hours of care a week) have suffered from depression. Some studies have shown that caregiver stress inhibits healing.
    Source: National Family Caregivers Association/Fortis Long Term Care (Caregiving Across the Life Cycle) 1998; Lancet 1995;346 (Slowing of Wound Healing by Psychological Stress - Kiecolt-Glaser, JK et al)
  • Heavy-duty caregivers, especially spousal caregivers, do not get consistent help from other family members. One study has shown that as many as three fourths of these caregivers are "going it alone".
    Source: Caregiving Across the Life Cycle - as above
  • A recent study calculated that American businesses lose between $11 billion and $29 billion each year due to employees' need to care for loved ones 50 years of age and older.
    Source: National Alliance for Caregiving/Met Life (Met Life Study of Employer Costs for Working Caregivers)
  • Fifty-nine percent of the adult population either is or expects to be a family caregiver.
    Source: National Family Caregivers Association (Random Sample Survey of 1,000 Adults Sponsored by Aleve)

Profile of the Caregiver Population
Statistics provided by the National Family Caregivers Association


  • Female: 82%
  • Male: 18%

Marital Status

  • Married: 74%
  • Single: 12%
  • Widowed/Divorced: 14%


  • 25 to 35: 6%
  • 36 to 50: 34%
  • 51 to 65: 36%
  • 66 to 80: 22%
  • Over 80: 2%

Kids at Home

  • Yes: 23%
  • No: 77%


  • Yes: 47%
    - Full Time: 34%
    - Part Time: 13%
  • No: 53%

For Whom They Care

  • Spouse: 48%
  • Parent: 24%
  • Child: 19%
  • Sibling/Friend: 9%

Last Updated: 8/31/2011