India: Young nation today – Silver tomorrow
India today being home to 2nd largest population in the world is also one of the youngest nations in the world. With more than 50 percent of the population below 30 years of age, India today has an advantage of the demographic dividend.
Presently, around 100 million people are above the age of 60 years. This population of elderly is projected to increase to 248 million by 2040 and 308 million by 2050, a dramatic change in the demography of the country in a short span of next 30 to 40 years on a public health scale. Superimposed on to this demographic shift, India is rapidly urbanizing where more than 50 percent of population will be living in urban areas by 2040. The ageing and urbanization of India is happening quietly hand in hand, which demands a major need to develop healthcare services system and human settlements to meet the needs of this impending sliver tsunami. Presently, there is no such major movement in India, as the National Urban Health Mission is still waiting to be launched.
The burden of the non-communicable diseases has overtaken that of communicable diseases and poses a major challenge to the public health delivery system, which is still grappling with reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. India has a fragmented mix of private and public healthcare delivery system. It has the highest diabetic population in the world and the burden of cardio-vascular diseases is a kind of ticking time bomb, slowly undermining the economic growth achieved by the country in past two decades.
The healthcare system in India is nowhere ready to handle this dramatic change in the demography and the healthcare services need of the future population. No nation in the world must have face with this situation in history, which makes it a hot bed of opportunities to be explored to address the situation.
World Health Organization / Population Census of India 2001 / Population Census of India 2011
Population division, Department of Economic and Social Development, United Nations