Ageing population in Myanmar

Older people are generally poor in Myanmar, especially in rural areas, but they remain closely connected to family for support according to results of a 2012 survey of older persons are documented in a report by John Knodel and HelpAge International: The Situation of Older Persons in Myanmar.

The information on the ageing population in this country is presented under three sections: 1.) Situation of older people, 2.) Key facts and 3.) Government policies related to older people

In addition, in 2015 HelpAge published Global AgeWatch Index that ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. In 2018, a Global AgeWatch Insight with focus on health and care, and universal health coverage (UHC) was released. Among 12 selected countries, you can find specific country report card for Myanmar.



Situation of older people

The number of older people is growing: The share of older people (aged 60+) in Myanmar’s population is anticipated to increase from about 9 % today to nearly 25 % by 2050. About 70% of older people need some assistance with daily living activities. This varies only modestly, according to marital status and gender.

Older people struggle with poverty: In terms of income and assets, older people, especially those in rural areas, can be described as generally poor. A third of older people live in homes without electricity and over half (58%) lack running water, and these situations are particularly common in rural areas. Although the situation has improved over the past decade, on average the homes of older people have few possessions.


Key facts

Below are the key statistics on Myanmar’s population of older people:

2012 2050
Older people (total) 4,122,000 13,566,000
Older people as percentage of total population 8.5% 24.5%
Life expectancy (males) 64
Life expectancy (females) 68
Old age dependency ratio (ratio of people 60+ to those of working age) 25% 60%
Older people in poverty
Rural older people
Urban older people
Older people living alone (60-80) 6.7% NA
Older people living alone (80+)
Older women as a percentage of the population aged 60+ 54.6 55.7


Government policies related to older people

There is currently no national policy on older people but one is anticipated soon. The government is considering introducing a means-tested social pension for some people aged 75+ in the near future.

Older People’s Self Help Groups (OPSHGs) are approved by the government. There are currently 63 OPSHGs reaching about 20,000 people.

There are about 70 Homes for the aged covering about 2300 older people. The home care volunteer-based model is implemented by 10 partner organisations and reaches about 17,000 older people.

More information can be found on the Myanmar Government website:

Our network: HelpAge Myanmar

The following are recent publications and resources related to Myanmar’s older population.


John Knodel, 2013, The situation of older persons in Myanmar: Results from the 2012 Survey of Older Persons
UNFPA and HelpAge International, 2012, Ageing in the 21st Century: A celebration and a challenge
United Nations World Population Prospects: 2010 assessment, in The Situation of Older People in Myanmar


2019-01-03T17:01:43+00:00 Tags: , |