The proportion is the least in Bihar (7.7%) followed by Uttar Pradesh (8.1%) and Assam (8.2%), according to the report of the Technical Group on Population Projections for India and States for 2011-2036, whose findings have been cited in the ‘Elderly in India 2021‘ document released on Thursday by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI).
The projections for 2031 show that Kerala will have the maximum proportion (20.9%) of elderly people in its population, followed by Tamil Nadu (18.2%), Himachal Pradesh (17.1%), Andhra Pradesh (16.4%) and Punjab (16.2%), according to the report. It cited data to show that the general population has grown by 12.4% during 2011-2021, in comparison to around 18% in the earlier decade, while the elderly population grew by 36% in each of the last two decades (2001-2011 and 2011-2021). High growth rate in elderly population compared to general population was also observed earlier in the two decades between 1961 and 1981, the report said.
The growth in elderly population has been attributed to the longevity of life achieved because of economic well-being, better healthcare and medical facilities and reduction in fertility rates.
Old age dependency ratio provides a clearer picture of the number of persons aged 60-plus per 100 persons in the age group of 15-59 years. The report said that an increasing trend has been observed in the old age dependency ratio – it has risen from 10.9% in 1961 to 14.2% in 2011 and is further projected to increase to 15.7% and 20.1% in 2021 and 2031, respectively. The projected dependency ratio for females and males is 14.8% and 16.7% respectively in 2021.