Kerala witnessing a demographic transition

Calls for protecting and promoting the rights of elderly persons have been growing with their numbers touching nearly 20% of the population in the State.

In fact, Kerala is ageing faster than the rest of the country with regard to demographic transition. The proportion of senior citizens (60 years and above) is expected to increase from 13% (2011 Census) to 23% by 2036. Almost every fifth individual in the State is expected to be a senior citizen by then, S. Irudaya Rajan, Chairman, International Institute of Migration and Development, Kerala, told The Hindu.

Declining fertility and increasing longevity have been contributing to the demographic shifts in the State. “Thus the issues surrounding the ageing population require long-term planning,” Dr. Rajan said.

Experts believe that government agencies and civil society need to prepare for the welfare measures of the geriatric population. “A holistic combination of health-care and socio-economic protection should be envisaged to deal with the ageing population in the future. The mindset of society should change with focus on quality of livelihood,” he said.

Kerala witnessing a demographic transition

He said that the share of the aged was likely to reach 28.2% and 34.3% in 2041 and 2051 respectively. “People should realise that Kerala has an ageing population and old age is second childhood,” said Dr. Rajan, who has done extensive studies on ageing and co-authored a book Senior Citizens of India: Emerging Challenges and Concerns with Udaya S. Mishra, Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.

3.69 cr. by 2036

Studies showed that the population of the State is expected to increase from 3.34 crore to 3.69 crore during 2011-2036. Also, the life expectancy of men will increase from 72.19 in 2011-15 to 74.49 in 2031-35 and that of women from 78.15 to 80.15.

The lowest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the country is expected to be in the State at 9 in 2031-35 and the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is expected to decline from 1.82 during 2011-2015 to 1.8 during 2031-35.

The sex ratio (females per 1,000 males) is expected to show a marginal decrease from 1,084 in 2011 to 1,079 in 2036.

Decadal growth rate

Incidentally, the percentage decadal growth rate of State’s population during 2001-2011 was 4.9%, the lowest among Indian States. Among districts, Malappuram has the highest growth rate (13.4%), and Pathanamthitta has the lowest growth rate (-3%). Idukki also has seen a decline in population with a negative growth rate (-1.8%). Also, the growth rate of population was lower in the southern districts of Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram than other districts.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 5:55:36 AM |

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