United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India, along with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), unveiled ‘Caring for Our Elders Institutional Responses: India Ageing Report 2023’.
- The report was released in the presence of Saurabh Garg, the Secretary of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ms. Andrea M. Wojnar, UNFPA India Representative and Country Director Bhutan.
- Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal ministry for care and welfare of senior citizen.
Note: United Nations had declared 2020-30 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing.
About the Report:
i.The India Ageing Report 2023 represents a thorough review of the living conditions and welfare of older individuals in India.
ii.The report re-examines the conditions of older persons in the country, and attempts to increase the quality of elder care in India.
iii.India Ageing Report 2023 is build on its previous released report India Ageing Report – 2017.
The report leverages the latest data available from
- Longitudinal Ageing Survey in India (LASI), 2017–18,
- Census of India 2011
- Population Projections by the Government of India (2011–2036)
- World Population Prospects 2022 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Data & Analytics:
i.Senior citizen occupies 10% of India’s population. By 2036, it will be 14.36%. In 2050 it will be 20.8%
ii.The current estimate of the decadal growth rate of the elderly population (60+ years) of India is at 41% between 2021 and 2031.
iii.The report predicts that by 2046 elderly population will surpassed the population of children (Below 15 years) in the country.
iv.More than 40% of the elderly in India are poor, with about 18.7% of them living without an income.
v.The report projected that the population of people aged 80+ years will grow at a rate of around 279% between 2022 and 2050 with a predominance of widowed and highly dependent very old women.
vi.The report highlights that women had higher life expectancy at the age of 60 and at the 80, when compared to men( with variations across States and Union Territories).
- The women(aged 60) in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala live longer than women in other parts of India(life expectancy of 23 and 22 years), and they also live longer than men(4 years) in their own states as compared to the national average differential of only 1.5 years.
vii.Women in Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir can expect to live for more than 20 years after they turn 60.
viii.The sex ratio (females per 1,000 males) among the elderly has exhibited a consistent upward trend since 1991(whereas the ratio in the general population is stagnating).
- During the decade from 2011 to 2021, this ratio witnessed growth across all regions in India, except the Union Territories and western India.
- In the northeast and the east, while the sex ratio of the elderly increased, it remained below 1,000 in both years, indicating that men still outnumber the women in these regions even at 60-plus years.
ix.Most states in the southern region of India and some northern states like Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have a higher proportion of elderly people than the national average in 2021. This gap is expected to widen by 2036.
x.States with higher fertility rates and slower demographic transition, such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are expected to see an increase in the share of the elderly population between 2021 and 2036, but the level will remain lower than the Indian average.
xi.The dependency ratio is the number of elderly people per 100 people (between 15 and 59 years).
- Lower old age dependency ratios: Union Territories (13) and the north-eastern region (13).
- Higher old age dependency ratios: southern India(20) and Western India(17).
xii.The report also looked at how the government and state authorities responded to the needs of elderly people during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the experiences of older people themselves.
- Most older people said that they received some state aid, but that it was not enough. They also said that there were no accessible public healthcare facilities, and that nobody except NGOs(Non Government Organisation) or CBOs (community-based organizations) helped them.
Claims from the Report:
i.The report suggest for enhanced geriatric care to address the unique healthcare requirements of old aged people.
ii.The report says that government schemes and policies should be framed by government by focusing on the health, financial empowerment, and capacity building of the elderly population.
- Also there should be Ministerial committees dedicated to shaping policies for elderly welfare.
iii.It also suggest that there should be active involvement of community-based organizations in digital empowerment through computer and internet usage sessions.
iv.The report recommend the corporates to make initiatives which is aimed at promoting joyful ageing, providing social assistance, establishing old age homes, and raising awareness about elder abuse.
i.This report is an important resource for scholars, policymakers, program managers, and all stakeholders involved in elder care.
ii.As India experiences demographic ageing, it is crucial to ensure that the elderly population has access to the care and support required for them to lead healthy, dignified, and fulfilling lives.
iii.The major challenges of India’s ageing population are the feminisation and ruralisation of this older population.
iv.The levels of poverty has the direct effect on the quality of life and healthcare utilisation of the old age population.
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About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
Executive Director – Natalia Kanem
Headquarters – New York, United States of America (USA)
Established in – 1969 (as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. Later its the name was changed to the United Nations Population Fund in 1987)