Skip to Content


An Ageing India: The magnitude and the multitude

Published on July 2, 2024


The ageing phenomenon is the most notable experience of this century with remarkable improvement in human longevity complemented by the lowest levels of reproduction. While its magnitude and multiplication may appear threatening, there are attempts at redefining this domain not merely in terms of age but other related functioning conditioned by the evolving expansion in longevity on one hand and evolving scenario of vulnerabilities on the other.

In Indian conditions, in particular, the four vulnerabilities of later ages in life course are in terms of restrictions in activities of daily living, multi-morbidity, poverty and absence of any income. On these counts, the Longitudinal Ageing Survey of India (LASI, 2017-18) reports that about 20% of the elderly population experience each of these vulnerabilities with widespread variation across the States. The remedial approach to address these vulnerabilities requires a multi-pronged approach involving the principles of inclusion and adoption of social security measures. Viewing these vulnerabilities as a life course phenomenon, promotion of life preparatory measures has to be put in place; this need not be limited to financial or economic independence per se but also means to ensure healthy active and productive years given the elongated life span owing to increased longevity. Most attempts at evaluation of the ageing phenomenon have maintained an individual focus, wherein the attributes and characteristics of the aged are counted more than circumstances and conditioning of later life.

Read more