A greater share of childless older adults were non-Hispanic white compared with biological parents, 79% versus 72.8%, and they were overwhelmingly born in the U.S. — 90%, compared with 84.7% for parents — according to the report.
When it came to physical health, about three-quarters of men and women with children, as well as childless women, said they had excellent, very good or good health. But that figure was lower for childless men, more than 71%.
Those older adults with children were more likely to be living with a spouse compared with childless older adults, while the childless were more likely to be living alone than parents, suggesting childless older adults have fewer sources of potential support in their homes, according to the report.
“As spouses and children are the primary sources of informal care in the United States ... these discrepancies are concerning," the report said.
Net worth varied by sex among older adults. Childless women had the highest net worth, at $173,800, followed by biological fathers at $161,200, while the median net worth for everyone over age 55 was $133,500, the report said.
The higher net worth of childless older women may put them at a greater advantage to hire paid care, the report said.
“Childless older women appear to be in a more advantageous position than their male counterparts in later life," the report said. “They have better self-rated health scores and higher personal net worth than childless men."
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.