Journal Article

What Explains the Decline in Life Insurance Ownership?

Abstract: Life insurance ownership has declined markedly over the past 30 years, continuing a trend that began as early as 1960. In 1989, 77 percent of households owned life insurance (see figure 1). By 2013, that share had fallen to 60 percent. This article analyzes factors that might have contributed to the decline in life insurance ownership from 1989 to 2013. The focus of our analysis is on two broad sources of potential change in the demand for life insurance: changes in the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the population and changes in how those same characteristics are associated with the decision to purchase life insurance. In addition, we highlight the considerable diversity in life insurance ownership across education, income, and race and ethnicity and describe how trends in life insurance ownership vary across these groups.

Keywords: Households; insurance; life insurance;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Economic Perspectives

Publication Date: 2017

Issue: 8

Pages: 1-20