Kerala’s geriatric population to be 20 percent by 2026

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Thiruvananthapuram, April 16 (IANS) The proportion of the elderly in Kerala’s population, already the highest in India, is set to go up from 12 percent to 20 percent by 2026, an expert said on Saturday.

“By 2026, the geriatric population in Kerala will touch 20 percent due primarily to demographic transition,” said Gopukrishnan Pillai, a geriatric care expert, at the launch here of a healthcare clinic attached to Ananthapuri Hospitals and Research Institute.

The current share of the elderly in the state’s population is 12 percent, compared to the national average of eight percent, Pillai said.

Kerala has a population of 3.30 crore, according to the latest figures.

The “demographic transition” in Kerala is characterised by increased life expectancy which stands at 74.1 years as compared to the national average of 65 years, Pillai said.

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“Besides today there are lesser number of children in every family; achievements in the quality of life and migration are other reasons for the increase in the geriatric population of Kerala,” he said.

The state’s ageing population is giving rise to the social and personal problems similar to what an ageing West has been facing, he added.

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