Perceived Income Adequacy and Well-being among Older Adults in Six Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Theresa E. Gildner, Melissa A. Liebert, Benjamin D. Capistrant, Catherine D'Este, J. Josh Snodgrass, Paul Kowal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objectives Perceived income adequacy is positively associated with self-rated health (SRH) and quality of life (QOL) among adults in higher-income countries. Additionally, older individuals often report higher levels of income adequacy. However, it is unclear if these associations, documented primarily in high-income countries, are also evident across economically and culturally distinctive low- and middle-income countries. Methods Data were drawn from the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), a study of adults aged 50 years or older in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. Smaller samples of younger adults (18-49 years) were included for comparison purposes. Participants reported income adequacy, SRH, and QOL. Associations between age and income adequacy and between income adequacy and SRH/QOL were examined using country-specific logistic regression analysis. Results Older adults in China and Russia were more likely to report better income adequacy than their 18- to 49-year-old counterparts; however, the opposite was observed in Ghana and India. SRH and QOL improved as income adequacy increased in all countries. Discussion As expected, income adequacy was correlated with SRH and QOL. However, the relationship between age and income adequacy varied cross-culturally, potentially due to differences in familial and governmental financial support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-525
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Health economics
  • Population ageing
  • Social gradients
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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