AGEING POPULATIONS in China and India may have many things in common, suggested data from a collaborative project undertaken by academics. “China and India are the only countries in the world with population of more than one billion. Both together are home for one third of the world’s population, and both populations are ageing rapidly,” said Professor S Siva Raju, a faculty member at Centre for Population, Health and Development in Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ (TISS) School of Development Studies.
TISS has partnered with the Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University of China; Centre for Research on Ageing, University of Southampton in UK and HelpAge India to form the China – India Population Ageing Forum to study implications of population ageing and work out suitable policy responses. Once the forum produces a report, it will be presented to both the governments. “In 2025, both countries will have higher proportions of those who are aged 85 or older (6.6 per cent in China and 5.1 per cent in India) than they do now (5.8 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively), meaning that the elderly population will be more frail than it is now and thus, more difficult to take care of,” stated a statement issued by the forum.
China and India being two of the fastest growing economies, gap between per capita income growth and workforce participation to take care of elderly is a major concern… said Professor Peng DU, Director, Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University of China. “… Institutional care is more prevalent and developed in European countries compared to countries in Asia, where familial system of care is dominant. But with increased engagement of women in paid labour market and migration, traditional systems of family support are coming under pressure,” said Professor Jane Falkingham, Director, Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton.
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