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Source: The post is based on the article “India’s demography at crossroads: Elderly may outnumber the youth” published in the Indian Express on 13th July 2022.
What is the News?
‘Youth in India 2022’ report was released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
What are the key findings of the Youth in India 2022 report?
Demographic shift: The proportion of the population aged under 15 years is projected to decline, and the elderly in the population is expected to increase.
Declining youth population: The youth population is expected to increase initially but will start to decline in the latter half of the 2011-2036 period. The total youth population increased from 222.7 million in 1991 to 333.4 million in 2011 and is projected to reach 371.4 million by 2021 (27.2% of the population) and, thereafter, decrease to 345.5 million by 2036 (22.7%).
Increasing elderly population: The proportion of the elderly population to the total population has increased from 6.8% in 1991 to 9.2% in 2016 and is projected to reach 14.9% in 2036.
Findings related to states: The more populous states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which experienced a rise in the proportion of the youth population to the total population till 2021, are expected to see a decline from hereon. These two states, along with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, are projected to have over half (52%) of the country’s youth.
States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are projected to see a higher elderly population than the youth by 2036.
What are the suggestions of the report?
The elderly population will put pressure on social security and public welfare systems. Hence, in the next 4-5 years, active labour market policies should be adopted to accelerate productive job creation along with the expansion of manufacturing.
The government should take steps to adapt public programmes to the growing proportion of older persons, including by improving the sustainability of social security and pension systems and by establishing universal health care and long-term care systems.