Ageing in India


Ageing in India

Population ageing is one of the most discussed global phenomena of this century. Countries with a large population like India have a large number of people now aged 60 years and more. The population over the age of 60 years has tripled in last 50 years in India and will continue to rise in the near future. According to population census 2011 there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India, with 53 million females and 51 million males. A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India suggested that the number of elderly is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026.

Karnataka state alone has contributed to 9.2% of the total population of elderly in the country. Karnataka’s elderly population has increased from 7.2% in 2001 to 9.6% in 2011. Nearly 3.89 million of elderly population in Karnataka are living in rural areas. The old age dependency ratio in Karnataka is 14.8% as per the census report of 2011.

Since, 1991, elderly females have outnumbered elderly males Census 2011 observed 53 million females & 51 million males. Nearly three-fourths of the elderly (71%) are in Rural areas. Life expectancy at 70 (2009-13) is more than 10 years: Male: 10.9 yrs Female: 12.3 yrs and has witnessed an increasing proportion of working elderly population.

(000s) % Elderly to total Total persons Females Males Urban Rural
India 8.6 103,849 52,777 51,072 73,294 30,555
Karnataka 7.7 5,791 3,044 2,747 3,897 1,894

The growing population of elderly has profound social, economic and political implications for our country. It has serious impact on the health care and social care systems of the country. The diminishing traditional family support due to changes in value systems, migration, improvement in education and employment of women, further complicates the already stressed health and social care systems.