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

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Preparing for a Demographic Transition in India

A dignified life for the elderly population needs an urgent cultural, political and policy reimagination.

The Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, 1982 was an outcome of the first global assembly of countries to deliberate on population ageing, supported by the United Nations General Assembly. Based on this plan, the United Nations Principles for Older Persons was drafted in 1991 with the aim of mainstreaming policies to enable independent, participative, dignified and self-fulfilled life for the elderly. The India Ageing Report 2023: Caring for Our Elders: Institutional Responses, published by the International Institute for Population Sciences and United Nations Population Fund, documents the country-specific effort in this direction.

Population ageing implies the rise in the proportion of those classified as old—largely people above 60 or 65 years of age. In 2022, 13.9% of the world population, that is, 1.1 billion people, were in this age group, which is estimated to grow up to 2.1 billion, making it 22% of the world population by 2050. Asia has more than half the proportion of this population (58%) today, with 648 million elderly people, which could rise to 1.3 billion in three decades. Similar trends will be seen in India, which has 149 million elderly, constituting a 10.5% share of its total population in 2022. This number will expand to 347 million, making it 20.8% of the national share by 2050. Though this is lower in percentage count, compared to the estimates for Asia and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries, the absolute numbers will be large. For the same period, the pace of ageing is reported as moderate for India, and high to very high for Japan, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

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Updated On : 14th Nov, 2023
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