Demography changes in India: the elderly are on the rise

A study on the future composition of the Indian population issued by the Ministry of Finance.  According to experts, in 2041 the number of young people between 0 and 19 will be 25% of the total, in decline compared to 41% in 2011. Classes will be less numerous, so classrooms must be joined. Need to increase the retirement age, set at 60 for public officials.


New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Indian population is growing older, has fewer children and the number of elderly people is growing.  This is what the Ministry of Finance experts say, in a report presented in Parliament on June 4.  Given the aging of its population, analysts advise, the government must start thinking about a different school system and increasing the retirement age.

The study is part of the Economic Survey 2018-2019 and is entitled "India's Demography at 2040: Planning Public Good Provision for the 21st Century".  According to the data, in 2040 the Indians over 60 will be 239.4 million, a net increase compared to 104.2 million in 2011. In practice, the number of elderly will grow from 8.6% in 2011 to 16% in 2041.  As for young people, the population between 0 and 19 will be 25% of the total, in decline compared to 41% in 2011.

The survey predicts a sharp change in the country's demography, which has so far grown with record numbers.  In 1970, the total population was just over 500 million;  in 2011, about 1.2 billion;  in 2019 it is 1.36 billion.  According to forecasts, the pace of growth will slacken: it will be 1% in 2021-2031 and 0.5% between 2031 and 2041.

The expert analysis shows above all a decline in the population between 0 and 14 years.  An implication of the demographic decline is already visible in the composition of the classes.  For example, in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh 40% of primary schools have less than 50 students enrolled.  These numbers, the study suggests, should lead to a change in the educational system, unifying the schools.

As for the increase in the elderly, the aging of the population (as is aready the case in  Western countries and in China) would weigh on the pension system.  Taking into account that the retirement age of civil servants is 60, says the head of economists Krishnamurthy Subramanian, it is clear that a reform of the pension and social security system is necessary, as well as greater investments in the health sector.