India ageing faster than we thought, shows data

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NEW DELHI: India is greying faster than previously projected, even though it fares better than other Saarc countries and China. The government has disclosed that the number of people above 60 will rise to around 340 million by 2050.The number, revealed by junior minister for health Anupriya Patel in the Lok Sabha, is higher than projections made by the United Nations (UN) and other agencies, which also predict that the elderly population will grow much faster than the overall population with more old “widowed and highly dependent women”. 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.Patel told the Lok Sabha on Friday that the 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.“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.