Population ageing is one of the most discussed global phenomena in the present century. Countries with a large population like India have a large number of people now aged 60 years or more. The population over the age of 60 years has tripled in last 50 years in India and will relentlessly increase in the near future. According to census 2001, older people were 7.7% of the total population, which increased to 8.14% in census 2011. The projections for population over 60 years in next four censuses are: 133.32 million (2021), 178.59 (2031), 236.01 million (2041) and 300.96 million (2051). The increases in the elderly population are the result of changing fertility and mortality regimes over the last 40-50 years.
The elderly process is considered to be an end product of demographic transition or demographic achievement with a decline in both birth and mortality rates and consequent increase in life expectancy at birth and older ages. The expectancy of life at birth during the year 2006-2011 was 65.65 and 67.22 for male and female respectively while projected expectancy of life at birth during the year 2011-2016 will be 67.04 and 68.8 years for males and female respectively.