Mortality changes Among elderly in Kerala and India: 1970–2000

Ramachandran Paida, Sri Venkateswara Univeristy
Jareena Shaik, Sri Venkateswara University

Mortality transition has received less attention of social scientists in the recent past, due to the overriding concern about high levels of fertility in the country and the consequent implications of population growth. After the Cairo conference emphasis was laid on reproductive health. Although, mortality has decreased in general, very little is known about the structure and pattern of mortality of elderly in particular. This paper focuses on the change in the pattern of expectation of life of elderly in Kerala and India in the last three decades. This has been accomplished by studying the change in life expectancy at age 60 by residence and sex. The SRS life tables of India from 1970-75 to 1996-2000 form the basis for the study. The findings suggest that the decline in old-age mortality in rural areas was faster than in urban areas. The rate of decline in mortality among old–olds was higher than the young-olds. Although expectation of life at birth is the highest in Kerala among Indian states (73.5 in 1996–2000 compared to 68.2 in Punjab), but the expectation of life of elderly at age 60 is the highest in Punjab (20.7 as compared to 19.5 in Kerala). It shows that along with health facilities, the nutritional and economic status of the people of Punjab might have had an impact on the increase in old age expectation of life, which needs further research. Owing to the decline in old age mortality and expected further decline in the same, would result in increase in the size of old age population in the years to come. It is not the proportion of elderly but the size of elderly is important for policy and planning.

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Presented in Poster Session 1