According to the India Ageing Report 2023 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), India is on track to become a “rapidly ageing society.” By 2046, the elderly population in India will surpass the number of children aged 0–14 years. In 2022, there were approximately 149 million individuals aged 60 and above, constituting about 10.5% of the population. By 2050, this share is expected to double to 20.8%, with around 347 million older people. This means that by 2050, one in every five individuals in India will be elderly.
The report highlights regional disparities, with southern states and select northern states such as Himachal Pradesh and Punjab already reporting higher proportions of elderly populations. While states with higher fertility rates, like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, will see an increase in the share of the elderly population between 2021 and 2036, it will still remain below the national average.
The report also notes that women will generally outlive men, leading to a higher number of older women, many of whom will reside in rural areas. The global trend of increasing life expectancy and declining fertility is expected to lead to a rising share and number of older people worldwide. The gender ratio is also changing, with an estimated 951 men for every 1,078 women in the older population.
Life expectancy in India varies by state, with an average of 18.3 years for 60-year-old men and 19 years for women. However, these numbers depend on the specific life expectancies in different region.
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