Number of elderly rises, more so in villages: Report

INDIA-MUMBAI/KASHMIR Around 71 per cent of elderly population resides in villages | Reuters

The population of elderly persons, above 60 years, have increased substantially with most of them residing in villages, says a government report.

Based on profile of elderly person in the country, it stated that there were 10.38 crore (8.6 per cent of the population) elderly persons in 2011 as compared to 7.66 crore (5.6 per cent) in 2001.

It said 71 per cent of elderly population resides in villages while 29 per cent is in cities.

The 'Elderly in India 2016' report by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said: "Prevalence of heart diseases among elderly population was much higher in urban areas than in rural parts."

It further said that urinary problems were more common among aged men while more aged women reported to suffer from problem of joints.

The sex ratio among elderly people was as high as 1028 women (per 1,000 males) in 1951, subsequently dropped and again reached up to 1033 in 2011.

The life expectancy at birth during 2009-13 was 69.3 for women as against 65.8 years for men. At the age of 60, average remaining length of life was found to be about 18 years (16.9 for men and 19.0 for women) and that at age 70 was less than 12 years (10.9 for men and 12.3 for women).

The report stated that the old-age dependency ratio climbed from 10.9 per cent in 1961 to 14.2 per cent in 2011 for India as a whole. For females and males, the value of the ratio was 14.9 per cent and 13.6 per cent in 2011.

Between rural and urban ratios there has been considerable difference in all the periods and this may be due to relatively higher concentration of working age population in urban areas.

According to 2011 census the old-age dependency ratios are 15.1 and 12.4 for rural and urban areas respectively, it added.

In rural areas, 66 per cent of elderly men and 28 per cent of elderly women were working, while in urban areas only 46 per cent of elderly men and about 11 per cent of elderly women were working.

The proportion of literates among elderly persons increased from 27 per cent in 1991 to 44 per cent in 2011. The literacy rates among elderly females (28%) is less than half of the literacy rate among elderly males (59%).

In the age-group of 60-64 years, 76 per cent persons were married while 22 per cent were widowed. Remaining 2 per cent were either never married or divorced.

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