Home » Youth share in population to fall, elderly to rise by 2036

Youth share in population to fall, elderly to rise by 2036

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The population pyramid of India will undergo a shift with the number of the elderly steadily rising while the youth declining due to a dip in fertility and increasing life expectancy, according to a new report. Proportion of youth to total population of the country had increased from 26.6% in 1991 to 27.9% in 2016 and then declined, and would reach 22.7% by 2036, according to the ‘Youth in India 2022’ report released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI).

On the contrary, proportion of the elderly population has increased from 6.8% in 1991 to 9.2% in 2016 and is projected to reach 14.9% in 2036, it said. “Therefore, it can be predicted that a greater proportion of youth at present will result in a greater proportion of elderly in the population in future,” the report noted.

The persons between the age group of 15 and 29 years are considered youth while people aged 60 and above are elderly. India’s population, which reached 1,211 million in 2011 and is seen to have reached 1363 million in 2021. “The age structure of population and the relative size of the youth cohort are important because they serve as determining factors in the growth of the labour force and pressures on the economy in terms of job creation,” it said.

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 and thereafter decrease to 345.5 million by 2036. Total fertility rate (TFR) has fallen significantly from 5.2 in 1971 to 2.1 in 2019 after being stable at 2.2 for the previous two years 2017 and 2018. TFR in urban areas (1.7) has fallen below two children per woman as compared to rural areas (2.3). TFR has now reached at the population-stabilising “replacement level” of 2.1 children per woman.

As far as states are concerned, elderly population in Kerala has been seen at 16.5% in comparison to 22.1% of youth in 2021 and their share (22.8%) is projected to cross the share of youth (19.2%) in total population by 2036. Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are also projected to experience elderly population more than the youth by 2036.

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