Population of the elderly in India has been increasing steadily since 1961 as it touched 13.8 crore in 2021, growing faster due to decrease in death rate, according to a study by National Statistical Office (NSO). The study also stated that the elderly males have outnumbered females in the last two decades (till 2021). But it is projected that elderly females would outnumber elderly males in 2031.
Elderly in study means all those people who are of the age of 60 years and above. "According to the Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections for India and States 2011-2036, there are nearly 138 million (13.8 crore) elderly persons in India in 2021 comprising 67 million males and 71 million females," the NSO study 'Elderly in India 2021' said.
As per the study the population of elderly India had been increasing steadily since 1961. The growth in the elderly population became faster mainly due to decrease in the death rate because of various health interventions after the census 1981.
"It is interesting to note that up to Population Census 1991, the number of elderly females exceeded the number of elderly males. However, in the last two decades, the trend has been reversed and the elderly males outnumbered the elderly females. Further, it is projected that the number of elderly females will exceed the number of males in 2031," it also stated.
It also stated that the addition of the elderly population during 2001- 2011 was more than 27 million (2.7 crore).
The population of elderly in India was 103.8 million (10.38 crore) in 2011 including 52.8 million males (5.28 crore) and 51.1 million females (5.11 crore). It is projected to be 193.8 million (19.38 crore) in 2031 including 92.9 million elderly males (9.29 crore) and 100.9 million elderly females (10.09 crore).
During 2011 to 2021, the general population has increased by 12.4 per cent while the elderly population has risen by 35.8 per cent, it showed. It has projected that while the general population in the country will rise by 8.4 per cent during 2021 to 2031, the population elderly in India will grow by 40.5 per cent.
The proportion of elderly population in India was 8.6 per cent in 2011, which projected to be 10.1 per cent in 2021 and 13.1 per cent in 2031.
"Age-wise distribution of population exhibits that there is an increasing trend in the proportion of population belonging to the age group 60 years and above from 7.4 per cent in 2001 to the projection of 13.2 per cent in 2031," it stated.
It also stated that an increase of nearly 34 million elderly persons was seen in 2021 over the Population Census 2011 and is further expected to increase by around 56 million elderly persons in 2031.
It further said, "State-wise data on elderly population of 21 major states divulge that Kerala has the maximum proportion of elderly people in its population (16.5 per cent) followed by Tamil Nadu (13.6 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (13.1 per cent), Punjab (12.6 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (12.4 per cent) in 2021. On the contrary, proportion is the least in Bihar (7.7 per cent) followed by Uttar Pradesh (8.1 per cent) and Assam (8.2 per cent)."
It also stated that for the year 2031, maximum proportion of elderly people in its population is projected in the state of Kerala (20.9 per cent) followed by Tamil Nadu (18.2 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (17.1 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (16.4 per cent) and Punjab (16.2 per cent)."
This is the fifth issue of the study in the series. The study has been published since 2000.
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