Andhra Pradesh has highest number of centenarians in south India


September 24, 2013

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of centenarians in south India, reveals a recently released census data.

September 24, 2013

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of centenarians in south India, reveals a recently released census data.

The figures also show that population of the fairer sex in 100 and above age category is significantly higher than that of men. Researchers say that Andhra Pradesh's (AP) population growth rate, improved life expectancy and a historically large population are reasons behind the higher number of elderly people.

There are 27,985 people aged 100 and above in Andhra and in comparison Tamil Nadu has 12,654, Kerala 5,431 and Karnataka 22,757 centenarians. The age-wise population divide also shows that Andhra registered a 43 percent growth over 2001 in the 60 plus population.

The figures for Andhra are higher than other southern states though its life expectancy at birth is the lowest comparatively. Being the fifth-most populous state in the country, Andhra now has 82.7 lakh people aged 60 and above.

Male-female population differences in this age category clearly show that women have higher longevity. The figures also reveal a pronounced difference of numbers for the sexes in the rural parts of the state, while in the urban areas, the different is relatively small. Again, in the 100 plus age category, there are more women than men in both rural and urban Andhra.

Surprisingly, the state has higher numbers in the 60 plus category when compared to the more populous West Bengal and Bihar. West Bengal too has a life expectancy higher than Andhra Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the most populated states, also have the highest number of people in the 60 plus category. The top five populated states UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Bihar, account for nearly half of country's population in this age group. Also of particular interest is the ratio of the number of people in above 60 plus age group to the population in 15- 59 age group, considered the driving force of the economy.

Census authorities say a reduction in this ratio signifies a population change favorable to the economy. But most Indian states have witnessed an increase in this ratio due to improved life expectancy and Andhra's ratio is higher than the national average.

Dr Y Rama Padma, professor department of Demography at the Indian Institute of Health and Family Planning said that Andhra's high numbers are reasons for the state government to come out with elderly specific schemes.

"Most of government expenditure is for the benefit of the young population whereas negligible amounts are allocated for the elderly. States like Kerala and even Tamil Nadu which have smaller number of elderly people are more sensitive to geriatric needs. It is time Andhra, with such a large elderly population, started taking better care of its elderly," she said.

Courtesy: TNN


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