15 million elderly Indians live all alone: Census

censusAlmost 15 million elderly Indians live all alone and close to three-fourths of them are women. In some states like Tamil Nadu the proportion of such ‘single elders’ is even higher with one in eleven of those aged above 60 living alone. One in every seven elderly persons in India lives in a household where there is nobody below the age of 60. In states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, a quarter of the elderly population lives in such all-elderly households.

This was revealed in Census 2011 data on the number of elderly people (above 60 years) and household size released this week. Of the nearly 250 million households in India, 31.3% have at least one elderly person. If we take away those elderly living alone or in elderly-only households from this number, just over 27% of households or 68 million households have elderly living with younger members. In almost 70% of households there is nobody above the age of 60.

To read the original article in the Times of India, go here.

India ranked 69th by Global AgeWatch

rankingThe Global AgeWatch Index 2014 has ranked India a lowly 69th among 96 countries it has ranked on how friendly the countries are for senior citizens.

It performs best in the enabling environment domain (52), a significant increase from its 2013 ranking (72) due to an increase in sense of civic freedom (77%) and satisfaction with public transport (69%).

It performs moderately in the capability domain (55), with near the regional average values for employment (55.8%), but low values for educational attainment among older people (20.3%).

It ranks low in the income security domain (71), with poor pension income coverage (28.9%). However, it has low old age poverty (5.1%) and high relative welfare for its region. It ranks lowest in the health domain (87), with below regional average values on all health indicators.

Life expectancy at the Age of 60 in India is estimated to be 17 years, while the estimated number of healthy years is on about 12.6.   Only about 28% of those above the age of 65 receive any pension and the rest are dependent on their own savings or their children.

The most worrisome finding is that the country does not seem to have any clear National policy on ageing.  Unless concrete steps are taken in defining a national level policy on ageing, it is going to be very difficult to see any great improvement in India’s ranking in the future.  With the pressure of increasing population in this segment, things can easily go downhill very quickly.

The top 10 countries to grow old is are:

  1. Norway
  2. Sweden
  3. Switzerland
  4. Canada
  5. Germany
  6. Netherlands
  7. Iceland
  8. USA
  9. Japan
  10. New Zealand

For a more detailed anaysis, go here.