Stastical Handbook on Aging Americans. Schick FL (ed). Phoenix, AZ. Oryx Press, 1986, 294 pages, hardcover, $39.50.
The handbook is a compendium of statistical tables and charts on the aged population complied from United States census and various national data collection sources that gather statistics on a variety of social and health characteristics of the US population. The book is divided into sections on: (1) demographics; (2) social characteristics; (3) health aspects; (4) employment conditions; (5) economic status; and (6) expenditures for the elderly. Statistics on younger age groups are also included for comparison purposes in some of the tables. Each section has a brief written introduction describing its contents.
The book can serve as an excellent resource for facts on the national picture of aging and has some breakdown by state and veteran groups. Sources of the tables and chart are well referenced so that the original source can be located. The charts and tables are presented without interpretation or description of the data base from which they were derived, therefore, some of the tables and charts are difficult to understand. The vast majority of tables and charts, however, would be understandable to most nurses.
Of the 337 illustrations, only 15 give a breakdown by state or region, and less than five present international comparisons. The book's focus is the national picture and can serve as useful comparison base for other state or local statistics. Having all of the statistics in one source is very helpful, as it usually takes many hours to find the same statistics in their multiple sources. Administrators and program planners would find this book a very useful reference in their grant writing or in comparing their community or health-care delivery and expenditures in relation to the national scene.