In addition, in 2015 HelpAge published Global AgeWatch Index that ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. You can find data set of 96 countries, including country report card for Bangladesh.
Situation of older people
As of 2019, over 13 million people living in Bangladesh are aged over 60 which is 8% of the country’s total population. The proportion of older people is expected to double to 21.9% in 2050 with 36 million people aged over 60. This means that for every five Bangladeshis, one will be a senior citizen.
An ageing population increases the demand for health services. Older people suffer from both degenerative and communicable diseases due to the ageing of the body’s immune system. The leading causes of morbidity are infections, while visual impairment, difficulty in walking, chewing, hearing, osteoporosis, arthritis and incontinence are other common health-related problems.
Bangladesh is rated 136th out of 189 countries on the latest United Nations Human Development Index Ranking in 2018. Only a third of people (33.4%) older than the statutory pensionable age in Bangladesh receive an old-age pension (contributory, noncontributory or both). Over time, there will be fewer and fewer working-age people to provide economic support during old age with the old-age dependency ratio expected to triple in the next few decades.
Below are the key statistics on Bangladesh’s population of older people:
|Population aged 60 and above (total)||13,109,000||36,871,000|
|Population aged 60 and above (% of total population)||8.0||21.9|
|Older women aged 60+ (% of total population)||3.88||11.55|
|Life expectancy (males)||70.48||78.11|
|Life expectancy (females)||74.11||81.45|
|Old-Age Dependency Ratio (Age 65+ / Age 15-64)||7.7||23.5|
|Rural older people (% of total population)||3.46|
|Urban older people (% of total population)||1.4|
|Older persons living alone aged 60 and above (% of total population aged 60+)||1.77|
National Policy on older people
The National Policy for Older Persons 2013 places importance on the contributions from older people within communities, emphasising the importance of communication and social facilities. Older people are directly involved in the process of monitoring the implementation of the policy and the successes of different programs such as education and training, poverty reduction, financial security and healthcare.
Health and care
The National Policy for Older Persons 2013 aims to strengthen health care services for older people, and primary health provide support with age-friendly health centres. Increasing referral services and temporary mobile camps for those in mobile areas. Education about healthy lifestyles and illness prevention is a priority, with efforts to raise awareness about risk factors and non-communicable diseases. Safe water sanitation, nutrition and gender-inclusive services are of great importance in Bangladesh.
The Parents Care Act 2013 ensures social security of the senior citizens and compels the children to take good care of their parents. According to the law, the children will have to take necessary steps to look after their parents and provide them with food, clothing, medical facilities, accommodation, and company. Furthermore, under no circumstances are children allowed to send their parents in old homes beyond their wishes. The law also allows aggrieved parents to file cases against their children if they decline to support them.
Older people’s associations (OPAs)
There is no specific government policy referring to OPAs specifically. However, a programme run by HelpAge and SHARE Foundation called “Strengthening Ageing Netowork in Asia (SANA II)” aims to improving the wellbeing of older people, their families and their communities, through resilient and self-sustaining community based organisations and improved social protection. The project is contributing to establish an advance OPA model, including older citizen monitoring (OCM) based OPA and Selp-help club. Besides, AID Comilla, BITA and Bohubrihy have been implemented Community Disaster Management Committee (CDMC) at community level.
One-third of the older Bangladesh population receive a social pension. The Old Age Allowance provides 500 Taka a month to men over 65 and women over 62, who qualify after means-testing according to socio-economic factors. There is only one permitted recipient of the Old Age Allowance per household. Of those who are over the age of eligibility, 27.3% claim the pension.
Our network members and partners
In addition to the HelpAge International Bangladesh Country Office, the following organisations are part of the HelpAge network in the country:
- Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Insitute of Geriatric Medicine (BAAIGM)
- Bangladesh Women’s Health Coalition (BWHC)
- Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)
- Resource Integration Centre (RIC)
The following are publications and resources related to Bangladesh’s older population.
- Work, family and social protection: Old age income security in Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam
- Old age income security in Bangladesh: Work, family and social protection
- Policy Mapping on Ageing in Asia and the Pacific: Analytical Report
- Data Mapping on Ageing in Asia and the Pacific
More information can be found on the Government website
- HelpAge International. 2012. Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and A Challenge. New York: UNFPA.
- HelpAge International, 2015. Policy Mapping on Ageing in Asia and the Pacific Analytical Report, Chiang Mai: HelpAge International East Asia/Pacific Regional Office.
- International Labour Organization. 2018. World Social Protection Report 2017–19. Geneva: ILO.
- UNDESA. 2000. Health and Well-Being in Older Age. New York: United Nations.
- United Nations. 2014. Urban and Rural Population by Age and Sex, 1980-2015. Retrieved from Urban and Rural Population: https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/dataset/urban/urbanAndRuralPopulationByAgeAndSex.asp
- United Nations. 2017. Living Arrangements of Older Persons: A Report on an Expanded International Dataset. New York: United Nations.
- United Nations. 2019. World Population Prospects 2019. Retrieved from United Nations Population Division: https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/