India’s population over 60 will double in 2050 from the 10.5 per cent recorded in 2022, a report by the UN Population Fund said.
The share of older people will double to “20.8 per cent, with the absolute number at 347 million” by 2050, according to data from the UN’s latest report, titled Caring for Our Elders: Institutional Responses India Ageing Report 2023.
The country had 149 million people aged 60 years and above as of 1 July 2022.
By 2046, India’s elderly population will surpass the population of children aged between 0 and 14.
One in every five people will become elderly citizens in India by 2050, the report said.
This unprecedented rise in the ageing population will cause significant implications for health, economy and society in India, according to the report.
“Preparing for the anticipated increase in the number of older persons and having the right policies and programmes for the wellbeing of the current and future older generations is one of the immediate priorities of the government and other relevant stakeholders,” it said.
The cause behind the anticipated rapid spike in the ageing population, specifically in developing countries, is due to their efforts to bring down fertility and mortality levels in a smaller window.
“Population ageing has been more pronounced in developed nations as they have passed through their demographic transition from high levels of fertility and mortality to lower levels, ahead of many of the developing countries,” it said.
“However, it is more rapid in developing countries now as they have been able to reduce fertility and mortality levels in a shorter span of time.”
There were 1.1 billion people aged 60 years or above in 2022 globally, making up for 13.9 per cent of the total 7.9 billion.
“Over the next three decades, the number of older persons worldwide is expected to double to 2.1 billion by 2050, with the share rising to 22 per cent of the total population,” the report stated.