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
Situation of older people
The number of older people is growing
As of 2019, over 2 million people living in Nepal are aged over 60 which is almost 9% of the country’s total population. The proportion of older people is expected to double to 18.6% in 2050 with 36 million people aged over 60. This means that for every five Bangladeshis, one will be a senior citizen.
Older people need care and support
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.
Older people struggle with poverty
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 double in the next few decades.
Below are the key statistics on Nepal’s population of older people:
|Population aged 60 and above (total)||2,521,000||6,568,000|
|Population aged 60 and above (% of total population)||8.7||18.6|
|Older women aged 60+ (% of total population)||4.69||11.14|
|Life expectancy (males)||68.83||75.45|
|Life expectancy (females)||71.72||78.98|
|Old-Age Dependency Ratio (Age 65+ / Age 15-64)||8.9||18.1|
|Rural older people (% of total population)||4.47|
|Urban older people (% of total population)||0.83|
|Older persons living alone aged 60 and above (% of total population aged 60+)||3.9|
Government policies related to older people
National policy on older people
The Senior Citizens Act was created in Nepal to address the issues presented by an ageing population. The Senior Citizens Act focuses on formation of the Senior Citizens Welfare Committee and Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, in order to protect and ensure social and economic wellbeing and human rights for the elderly. Social security and senior discounts were also a priority of the act, to ensure comfortable living standards. Increasing skills and knowledge of older persons and allowing for integrity and independence is the central theme of the Senior Citizens Act.
Health and care
The Thirteenth Plan aimed to create a Rural Community Public Health Programme, to address the issues of healthy aging and the risk of non-communicable diseases. The policy also focused on improving treatment services for the elderly and implementing preventative measures for no-communicable diseases in primary health services to improve national community care amongst the elderly. Primary health care provided by the government is now free in rural areas, and The Thirteenth Plan aimed to ensure all citizens had ease of access to the resources available to them.
Older people’s associations
The Centre for Welfare of Senior Citizens monitors Senior Citizens Clubs throughout Nepal, which aim to encourage elderly participation within communities and encourage independence and integrity amongst older persons.
There is a social pension in place in Nepal for low income older people. The Old Age Allowance is available for those over 70, though the age of eligibility is reduced to 60 for Dalits and those in the Karnali zone. Of those who are eligible over 70, 79.9% of the population are in receipt of the Old Age Allowance, and receive 2,000 Rupees per month.
More information can be found on the Government website here.
The following organisations are part of the HelpAge network in Nepal:
- Ageing Nepal
- National Senior Citizen Federation (NASCIF)
- Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN)
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.
Pension Watch, 2016. Country Fact File: Pakistan. http://www.pension-watch.net/pensions/country-fact-file/nepal
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/