Greying Tamil Nadu has second highest senior citizens: Report

Draft national policy on the geriatric club highlights need for special attention to elderly women and rural poor

Published: 20th June 2017 03:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2017 03:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has the second highest percentage of senior citizens (above 60 years) in the country, only next to neighbouring Kerala. And the State is greying at a rate of 2.2 per cent, according to a study by United Nations Population Fund.

The study “Caring for our elders: Early Responses India Ageing Report 2017”, released on Monday states that Tamil Nadu has 11.2 per cent of elderly population and is ranked behind Kerala, which has 12.3 per cent of greying population.

The study revealed that the southern states are greying faster along with Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab when compared to Central and Northern States like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand which have lower proportion of aged population. In the last decade (2001) the elderly population in Tamil Nadu was 9 per cent, while in 2011, it has increased to 11.2 per cent (2.2 percent growth). The growth across the nation as a whole was an increase from 6.9 per cent to 8.3 per cent .

The study also highlighted that greying women in the state outlive men in the age group. As per statistics available, Tamil Nadu has 17 per cent of 60 plus male population while women in the age group is 19.4 per cent. Also, the sex ratio of elderly has increased from 938 women to 1,000 men in 1971 to 1,033 women in 2011 and is projected to increase to 1,060 women by 2026, says the report.

According to data from Sample Registration System, life expectancy at the age of 60 has increased from 14 years in 1970-1975 to 18 years in 2010-14 with women living about two years longer than men.
The old age dependency ratio shows that there are over 14 elderly per 100 working age population with significant variation across states. In Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, the old age dependency ratio is higher than 15.

The report states that globally, the 60 plus constitute about 11.5 per cent of the total 7 billion population and by 2050 this is expected to increase to about 22 per cent with the elderly outnumbering children (below 15 years).

Projections indicate that during 2000-2050, the overall population of India would grow by 56 per cent while that of 60 plus by 326 per cent. During the same period, the population of 80 plus would  go up to 700 percent with a predominance of widowed and highly dependent old women. According to the report, while majority of the elderly are still living with their children in India, about one-fifth either live alone or only with the spouse and hence have to manage their needs.

When age is not just a number

26% of older men and 60% of older women in India do not have personal income
In 60-plus population, 66% are married while 32% are unmarried and 3% separated/divorced
53.7% of population above 60 live in rural TN
The share of elderly will increase from 8% in 2015 to 19% in 2050
Globally, the 60-plus constitute about 11.5% of 7 billion population. By 2050, the figure will go up to 22%
TN has 13.7% of elderly living alone - highest when compared with other states

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