Nation Other News 18 Oct 2021 Elderly thrive in AP ...

Elderly thrive in AP, TS; outstrip national average

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | V. KAMALAKARA RAO
Published Oct 18, 2021, 11:26 pm IST
Updated Oct 19, 2021, 6:29 am IST
AP has 12.4 per cent of elderly people in the total population as per the 2021 census, while TS has 11 per cent
The two Telugu-speaking states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — have more elderly people, who are aged 60 years and above, compared with their national population. (PTI file photo)
 The two Telugu-speaking states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — have more elderly people, who are aged 60 years and above, compared with their national population. (PTI file photo)

VISAKHAPATNAM: The two Telugu-speaking states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — have more elderly people, who are aged 60 years and above, compared with their national population. This has been revealed by the data shared by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSP).

As per the MoSP data, Andhra Pradesh has 12.4 per cent of elderly people in the total population as per the 2021 census, while Telangana state has 11 per cent whereas the total percentage in India is 10.1.

 

Even in the future, the two states will maintain the same tempo, according to the 2031 projected population. AP will have 16.4 per cent elderly people, Telangana state will have 14.5 per cent while 13.1 per cent of India's population will be elderly.

However, Kerala will have the highest percentage (20.9 per cent) of the elderly population among other states in the country, while Bihar will be the lowest (9.5 per cent) in 2031. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha will have 18.2 per cent, 15 per cent, and 15.8 per cent elderly population respectively by the next decade, according to MoSP data.

 

In 1951, there were only 5.5 per cent of the elderly people in the country. Their number started increasing from 2001 with that year registering 7.4 per cent.  The country's elderly population would be around 193.8 million in 2031 against the present 137.9 million in the country.

The female elderly population will be outnumbered that of male in the country in 2031. Their population was below men in 2001 and 2011, says the data.

Speaking to this newspaper, Andhra Medical College (AMC) principal Dr. P. V. Sudhakar said the life span of an Indian was 47 years in 1947 against the present 68 years. It is all due to the change of lifestyle, advanced medical care, change of food habits, quality of life at the office, home and outside like parks and hotels among other amusement areas.

 

This apart, the Covid-19 has also brought a drastic change in the lifestyle of people across the world and medical services.

“I suggest the authorities concerned and the people focus on the geriatric as a specialisation in the medical world. It is purely meant for senior citizens. We do not have much focus, but the western countries have it. The government should introduce geriatric in medical education and offer better services to senior citizens who suffer from joint pains, cancer, blood pressure among other health issues at their ripened age,” Dr Sudhakar said.

 

Increase in the elderly population showed that the people in the state were healthy after the retirement of their services, he added.

Some of the major problems of the aged people, as found in various studies, include economic, physiological, housing and crime against the aged. Declining fertility and increasing longevity lead to rising numbers of older persons, the MoSP report said.

Punjab (12.6 per cent) is similar to Andhra Pradesh while West Bengal (11.3 per cent), Odisha (11.8 per cent), Maharashtra (11.7 per cent) are similar to Telangana state in 2021.

 

Apart from the lifespan, the size of the family also plays a key role. People in the South prefer one or two babies compared to a much larger family in the north. Also, several young people from the south migrated to other countries.

Referring to those factors, during his padayatra in West Godavari in 2015, the then chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu once urged married people to have more than one child. Naidu said AP would become another Japan where aged people are more than youngsters. "Youngsters who marry early do not like having children at the right age. This is not correct,” Naidu added.

 

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