One-third of American adults provide care, new report finds

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One-third of American adults provide care, new report finds
One-third of American adults provide care, new report finds

There are more informal caregivers in the U.S. than ever before. Nearly one-third of the population provides some level of care, according to a new study.

The joint AARP/National Alliance for Caregiving study, released Tuesday, finds that 29% of the U.S. adult population—roughly 65.7 million adults—plays the role of caregiver. Roughly 70% of those care for someone over the age of 50, usually a relative (86%), and often a parent (36%). Caregivers are aging as well, the report finds. Among caregivers of adults, the average age of the caregiver rose from 46 in 2004 to 49 in the 2009 study. Approximately 66% of caregivers are women.

A similar study conducted in 2004 estimated the number of caregivers in the U.S. to be 44.4 million. This year, researchers included the caregivers of children under the age of 18 in their report, which they had not done for previous editions. The report, "Caregiving in the U.S. 2009," is based on interviews with a representative sample of nearly 1,500 unpaid caregivers across the country. More information is available at www.caregiving.org.