ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic Dependency among the Elderly in India

Need for a Comprehensive Geriatric Financing Policy

Population ageing is an inevitable global phenomenon associated with the improving healthcare system and economic well-being of the nations. In India, declining fertility, increasing longevity, and better control of chronic diseases have risen dramatically in adults aged 60 and above, in absolute and relative terms. This demographic shift presents a wide range of complex, social, and economic challenges, today and in the future. India observed a higher level of financial dependency among the elderly population along with the high gender and statewise disparities. Policy changes and programmes must pay attention to the unique needs and situations of the elderly, particularly the poor.

The author acknowledges the reviewer for the valuable suggestions and Bala for the support in graphical presentations.

Population ageing is a global phenomenon and a growing challenge for both developed and developing countries. The World Population Prospects (2019) report in 2020 states that 54 countries are classified as aged societies. Most of them are in the developed countries (72%), while another 42 predominantly emerging countries (79%) are expected to be ageing. As a result, the number of countries immediately concerned by population ageing will increase significantly from 96 in 2020 to 147 in 2050, that is, more than three quarters of all countries and around 87% of the global population.

Globally, there were 703 million older persons aged 65 or above in 2019. Eastern and South-eastern Asia was home to the largest number of the world’s older population (260 million), followed by Europe and Northern America (over 200 million). The global number of older persons is projected to more than double in the next three decades, reaching over 1.5 billion persons in 2050. The number of persons aged 80 years or above is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.

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Updated On : 10th Apr, 2023
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