Population Aging in India: A Regional Comparison and Implications for Older Persons’ Welfare and Healthcare Infrastructure

Main Article Content

Chandan Roy
Saurav Kumar
Gaurav Kumar
Vishwambhar Prasad Sati
Murali Dhar


Population aging is an inevitable consequence of demographic transitions, and declining fertility causes a rising burden of aging. The present study aims to project the aging index of various states nationwide up to 2031. In addition, the study estimates the year by which different states and union territories (UTs) will reach the Kerala levels index of aging (i.e., aged society). To conduct this study, data were gathered from the 2001 and 2011 Census of India. Using simple trend extrapolation techniques, we produced projections of aging indices up to 2031. Further, an index of aging of each state and union territory up to the level of Kerala state (i.e., aged society) was projected. The results showed that there will be a change in the age structure of the population from 2011 to 2031. There will be a 6% increase in the working-age group (15–59 years) and a 5% in the older population (60 years and above). However, there will be a decline of 11.2% in the children ages 0–14 years. The southern states and some states of north India, such as Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, are likely to attain Kerala’s level of aging index in the next few years. However, northern states are expected to take more years to achieve it. Therefore, there is a need to promote harmony between development and demographic change by expanding economic and social resources for older persons. The time has come to plan for the future burden of the older population across the country and arrange appropriate health facilities for them.

Article Details

How to Cite
Roy, C., Kumar, S. ., Kumar, G. ., Sati, V. P., & Dhar, M. . (2024). Population Aging in India: A Regional Comparison and Implications for Older Persons’ Welfare and Healthcare Infrastructure. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 32, 399–415. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jpss/article/view/266894
Research Articles
Author Biography

Chandan Roy, Department of Geography and Resource Management, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram, India

Corresponding author


• Arifin, E. N., & Ananta, A. (2009). Older persons in Southeast Asia: An emerging asset. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

• Banerjee, S. (2021). Determinants of rural-urban differential in healthcare utilization among the elderly population in India. BMC Public Health, 21(1), Article 939. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10773-1

• Basu, S., & Sidh, S. N. (2008). Work status and health of women: A comparative study of northern and southern states of rural India. World Health & Population, 10(2), 40–52. https://doi.org/10.12927/whp.2008.19930

• Bhan, N., Madhira, P., Muralidharan, A., Kulkarni, B., Murthy, G., Basu, S., & Kinra, S. (2017). Health needs, access to healthcare, and perceptions of ageing in an urbanizing community in India: A qualitative study. BMC Geriatrics, 17(1), Article 156. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-017-0544-y

• Bhat, A. K., & Dhruvarajan, R. (2001). Ageing in India: Drifting intergenerational relations, challenges and options. Ageing & Society, 21(5), 621–640. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X0100842X

• Bhat, P. M., & Rajan, S. I. (1990). Demographic transition in Kerala revisited. Economic and Political Weekly, 25(35/36), 1957–1980. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4396712

• Bhattacharya, P. (2005, January 12–14). Implications of an aging population in India: Challenges and opportunities [Paper presentation]. https://www.silverinnings.com/old/docs/Ageing%20Indian/Implication%20of%20Ageing%20population%20in%20India.pdf

• Bloom, D. E., Canning, D., & Sevilla, J. (2003). The demographic dividend: A new perspective on the economic consequences of population change (1st ed.). Rand Corporation. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2007/MR1274.pdf

• Bose, A. (2013). Demographic transition and Demographic imbalance in India. Health Transition Review, 6(1996), 89–99. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40652253

• Chanana, H. B., & Talwar, P. P. (1987). Aging in India: Its socioeconomic and health implications. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 2(3), 23–38. https://doi.org/10.18356/5c692b25-en

• Chapra, S. C. & Canale, R. P. (1998). Numerical Methods for Engineers. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.

• Chaudhary, J., & Thakur, K. (2023). India the world’s most populous country: Boon or Bane. The Agriculture Magazine, 2(6), 159–160. https://theagricultureonline.com/volume-02-issue-6-april-2023/

• Chowdhury, R., Taneja, S., Mazumder, S., Bhandari, N., & Strand, T. A. (2017). Gender differences in infant survival: A secondary data analysis in rural North India. BMJ Open, 7(8), Article e014179. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014179

• Das, P., Das, T., & Roy, T. B. (2023). Role of proximate and non-proximate determinants in children ever born among Indian women: Change detection analysis from NFHS-3 & 5. Women and Children Nursing, 1(1), 9–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wcn.2023.03.002

• Dey, S., Nambiar, D., Lakshmi, J. K., Sheikh, K., & Reddy, K. S. (2012). Health of the elderly in India: Challenges of access and affordability. In J. P. Smith & M. Majmundar (Eds.), Aging in Asia: Findings from new and emerging data initiatives. National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109208/

• Dhakal, S., Nankervis, A., & Burgess, J. (Eds.). (2022). Ageing Asia and the Pacific in changing times: Implications for sustainable development. Springer Nature Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-6663-6

• Golandaj, J. A., Goli, S., & Das, K. C. (2013). Living arrangements among older population and perceptions on old age assistance among adult population in India. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 33(5), 367–379. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-09-2012-0083

• Havighurst, R. J. (1961). Successful Aging. The Gerontologist, 1(1), 8–13. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/1.1.8

• Yenilmez, M. I. (2015). Economic and social consequences of population aging the dilemmas and opportunities in the twenty-first century. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 10(4), 735–752. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-014-9334-2

• James, K. S. (2008, June 21). Glorifying Malthus: Current debate on “Demographic dividend” in India. Economic and Political Weekly. https://www.epw.in/journal/2008/25/special-articles/glorifying-malthus-current-debate-demographic-dividend-india.html

• James, K. S. (2011). India’s demographic change: Opportunities and challenges. Science, 333(6042), 576–580. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1207969

• Jeffery, R., & Jeffery, P. (1998). Population, gender and politics: Demographic change in rural north India. Cambridge University Press.

• Jejeebhoy, S. J., Santhya, K. G., & Zavier, A. J. F. (2014). Demand for contraception to delay first pregnancy among young married women in India. Studies in Family Planning, 45(2), 183–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2014.00384.x

• Kaye, H. S., Harrington, C., & LaPlante, M. P. (2010). Long-term care: Who gets it, who provides it, who pays, and how much? Health Affairs, 29(1), 11–21. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0535

• Kumar, S., Sahu, D., Mehto, A., & Sharma, R. K. (2020). Health inequalities in under-five mortality: An assessment of Empowered Action Group (EAG) States of India. Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, 7(2), 189–196. https://doi.org/10.36469/JHEOR.2020.18224

• Malik, C., Khanna, S., Jain, Y., & Jain, R. (2021). Geriatric population in India: Demography, vulnerabilities, and healthcare challenges. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 10(1), 72–76. https://doi.org/10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1794_20

• Mathew, K., Zachariah, S., Shordt, K., Snel, M., Cairncross, S., Biran, A., & Schmidt, W.-P. (2009). The sustainability and impact of school sanitation, water and hygiene education in southern India. Waterlines, 28(4), 275–292. https://doi.org/10.3362/1756-3488.2009.029

• McPake, B., & Mahal, A. (2017). Addressing the needs of an aging population in the health system: The Australian Case. Health Systems & Reform, 3(3), 236–247. https://doi.org/10.1080/23288604.2017.1358796

• Menon, J., & Melendez-Nakamura, A. (2009, February). Aging in Asia: Trends, impacts and responses (ADB Working Paper Series No. 25). Asian Development Bank. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/28500/wp25-aging-asia.pdf

• Murthy, M. S. R. (2014). Knowledge of emergency contraception in the Southern States of India. Studies on Ethno-Medicine, 8(3), 277–283. https://doi.org/10.1080/09735070.2014.11917644

• National Commission on Population. (2020, July). Census of India 2011: Population Projections for India and States 2011–2036. Ministry of Health and Human Welfare. https://main.mohfw.gov.in/sites/default/files/Population%20Projection%20Report%202011-2036%20-%20upload_compressed_0.pdf

• Noor, N. M., Al Bakri Abdullah, M. M., Yahaya, A. S., & Ramli, N. A. (2015). Comparison of linear interpolation method and mean method to replace the missing values in environmental data set. Materials Science Forum, 803, 278–281. https://www.scientific.net/MSF.803.278

• Pandey, M, M. (2016). Population stabilization and demographic dividend in India. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 7(1), 16–33. https://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/Population-stabilization-and-Demographic-dividend-in-India.pdf

• Patkar, A. (1995). Socio-economic status and female literacy in India. International Journal of Educational Development, 15(4), 401–409. https://doi.org/10.1016/0738-0593(95)00023-V

• Peng, D. (2023). Negative population growth and population ageing in China. China Population and Development Studies, 7(2), 95–103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42379-023-00138-z

• Rajan, S. I., Shajan, A., & Sunitha, S. (2020). Ageing and elderly care in Kerala. China Report, 56(3), 354–373. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009445520930393

• Ram, U., & Ram, F. (2021, April 26). Demographic transition in India: insights into population growth, composition, and its major drivers. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190632366.013.223

• Ratcliffe, J. W. (1983). Toward a social justice theory of demographic transition: Lessons from India’s Kerala State. Janasamkhya, 1(1), 1–38.

• Sahoo, P. M., Rout, H. S., & Jakovljevic, M. (2023). Consequences of India’s population aging to its healthcare financing and provision. Journal of Medical Economics, 26(1), 308–315. https://doi.org/10.1080/13696998.2023.2178164

• Sander, M., Oxlund, B., Jespersen, A., Krasnik, A., Mortensen, E. L., Westendorp, R. G. J., & Rasmussen, L. J. (2015). The challenges of human population ageing. Age and Ageing, 44(2), 185–187. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afu189

• Sawe, B. E. (2020, January 14). India’s falling fertility rate: 1950 to 2020. WorldAtlas. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/india-s-falling-fertility-rate-1950-to-2020.html

• Sekher, T. V., Raju, K. N. M., & Sivakumar, M. N. (2001). Fertility transition in Karnataka: Levels, trends and implications. Economic and Political Weekly, 36(51), 4742–4752. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4411509

• Seltzer, J. A., Bachrach, C. A., Bianchi, S. M., Bledsoe, C. H., Casper, L. M., Chase-Lansdale, P. L., DiPrete, T. A., Hotz, V. J., Morgan, S. P., Sanders, S. G., & Thomas, D. (2005). Demographic changes across different states will invite different challenges. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 908–925. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00183.x

• Singh, P., Singh, K. K., Singh, A., & Pandey, A. (2020). The levels and trends of contraceptive use before first birth in India (2015–16): A cross-sectional analysis. BMC Public Health, 20(1), Article 771. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08917-w

• Singh, R. B., Beegom, R., Ghosh, S., Niaz, M. A., Rastogi, V., Rastogi, S. S., Singh, N. K., & Nangia, S. (1997). Epidemiological study of hypertension and its determinants in an urban population of North India. Journal of Human Hypertension, 11(10), 679–685. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.jhh.1000511

• Singh, R. B., Niaz, M. A., Thakur, A. S., Janus, E. D., & Moshiri, M. (1998). Social class and coronary artery disease in an urban population of North India in the Indian Lifestyle and Heart Study. International Journal of Cardiology, 64(2), 195–203. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-5273(98)00048-5

• Singh, T., Roy, P., Jamir, L., Gupta, S., Kaur, N., Jain, D. K., & Kumar, R. (2016). Assessment of universal healthcare coverage in a district of North India: A rapid cross-sectional survey using tablet computers. PLOS ONE, 11(6), Article e0176063. https://doi.org/10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0157831

• Smith, J. P., & Majmundar, M. (2012). Aging in Asia: Findings from new and emerging data initiatives. National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13361

• Spoorenberg, T. (2010). Fertility Transition in India between 1977 and 2004. Population, 65(2), 313–331. https://doi.org/10.3917/pope.1002.0313

• Subaiya, L., & Bansod, D. W. (2011, December). Demographics of population ageing in India (BKPAI Working Paper No. 1). United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). http://www.isec.ac.in/BKPAI%20Working%20paper%201.pdf

• Subramaniam, M., Abdin, E., Vaingankar, J. A., Sambasivam, R., Seow, E., Picco, L., Chua, H. C., Mahendran, R., Ng, L. L., & Chong, S. A. (2019). Successful ageing in Singapore: Prevalence and correlates from a national survey of older adults. Singapore Medical Journal, 60(1), 22–30. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2018050

• Tandon, A., Bordoloi, B., Jaiswal, R., Srivastava, A., Singh, R. B., & Shafique, U. (2018). Demographic and clinicopathological profile of oral squamous cell carcinoma patients of North India: A retrospective institutional study. SRM Journal of Research in Dental Sciences, 9(3), 114–118. https://doi.org/10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_21_18

• Teles, S., & Ribeiro, O. (2019). Activity Theory. In D. Gu & M. E. Dupre (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging (pp. 1–8). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_748-1

• United Nations. (2020). World Fertility and Family Planning 2020: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/440). Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. https://doi.org/10.18356/9789210043694

• United Nations. (2022). World Population Prospects 2022: Summary of Results (UN DESA/POP/2022/TR/NO. 3). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/content/World-Population-Prospects-2022

• Usha, R. (2004). Emerging issues from declining fertility in India. In T. K. Roy, M. Guruswamy, & P. Arokiasamy (Eds.), Population, Health and Development in India: Changing Perspective (pp. 291–322). Rawat Publisher.

• Wang, H., Naghavi, M., Allen, C. A., Barber, R. M., Bhutta, Z. A., Carter, A., Casey, D., Charlson, F. J., Chen, A. Z., Coates, M. M., Coggeshall, M., Dandona, L., Dicker, D., Erskine, H. E., Ferrari, A. J., Fitzmaurice, C., Foreman, K. J., Forouzanfar, M. H., Fraser, M., . . . Murray, C. J. L. (2016). Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053), 1459–1544. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(16)31012-1

• World Health Organization. (2022, October 1). Ageing and health. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health

• Yadav, S., & Arokiasamy, P. (2014). Understanding epidemiological transition in India. Global Health Action, 7(1), Article 23248. https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.23248

• Zachariah, K. C. (2017, June 13). Coping with demographic transition. Economic and Political Weekly. https://www.epw.in/journal/2001/22/commentary/coping-demographic-transition.html