New Delhi, Aug 12: India is ageing faster than previously projected. The government has said that the number of people above 60 will rise to around 340 million by 20150.
Junior minister for health, Anupriya Patel informed the Lok Sabha that he growth rate of the 0-14 population is slowing but that of older people is rising. The age distribution of India's population is more even as compared to China which has been skewed by the one-child policy resulting in a smaller and declining working age citizenry.
The number revealed by the minister is higher than the protections made by the United Nations. The UN projected the 60-plus population to grow to 316.8 million by 2050, whereas estimates by HelpAge India pegged the number at 324 million.
"India Ageing Report 2017" by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says the share of population over the age of 60 could increase from 8% in 2015 to 19% in 2050. By the end of the century, elderly will be 34% of the total population. During 2000-2050, the overall population of India is expected to grow by 56% while the 60-plus population will increase by 326%.
During the same period, the 80-plus population will grow 700% with a predominance of widowed and highly dependent very old women. While India is expected to report around 19% elderly by 2050, the absolute numbers will be very large.
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India however will be better off than China, which is expected to report a 34 per cent population of above 60 by 2050.