India has a total population of around 1.2 billion among which 103 million with 53m females and 51m males are above the age of 60 years. The average life span has substantially increased due to better health care services, good medicines, etc. and this has also reduced fertility. A report on the ageing population of India by Ishi Arya of the2is.com:
When a population age it has social, economic and political influence and it puts a strain on the health care and the social care systems. The weight of pension also increases on the Government and with it expenditure also increases. Most of the elderly require constant care with 10.9% of the elderly population requiring constant care. With today’s concept of the nuclear family providing constant care is a massive task and so the concept of old age home has come up.
Points to Ponder
- 71% of the elderly population lives in the rural area and around 29% in the urban areas.
- Growth in the number of urban elderly is greater than the growth in the rural areas.
- The elderly is almost 8.6% of the total population (8.8% of the rural population and 8.1% of the urban population)
- The growth of the elderly population was found to be 5.6% in the census of 1961 and this increased to 8.6% in 2011.
- The mortality rate has decreased to around 18 per every 1,000 of the elderly.
- The states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa have the highest concentration (10% of total population) of elderly in India.
- Dadara & Nagar Haveli, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman & Diu and Meghalaya have the lowest concentration of elderly population: 4%.
- 76% of the elderly population is married while 22% were widowed and 2% never married or are divorced.
- 69% of the households have an elderly member in their family.
- As against the normal trend the sex ratio of the elderly is high with 1033 according to the 1991 census.