April 6, 2011

SRI LANKA: It's one of the fastest aging countries in South Asia

COLOMBO / Sri Lanka Daily News / April 6, 2011

It is important to consider elders' needs and protect their rights as Sri Lanka is one of the fastest ageing countries in South Asia, said National Secretariat for Elders Director J Krishnamoorthi.

She was addressing a workshop on Elders and Development held at the Intercontinental Hotel Colombo recently. With the increasing elderly population the country will face many new socio-economic challenges in health, education and nutrition she said.

Around 1,891,000 people out of the total Sri Lankan population of 20,450,000 are over 60 years, which is 9.24 percent.

The male population over 60 years is 893,000, which is 47.17 percent of the total elderly population, and 4.36 percent of the country's population. The female population over 60 years is 999,000, which is 52.83 percent of the total elderly population and 4.88 percent of the total population, Krishnamoorthi said.

The country's elderly population will reach around 16.7 percent in 2021, she added. This includes 10 percent over 80 years and 20 percent over 70 years. Over 80 percent elders live in the rural areas in the country which creates problems when providing them with welfare.

'Mahinda Chinthana' aims to create a better environment for senior citizens to live in dignity Accordingly all citizens should take care of elders providing them with love and kindness to keep them content.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.