Ageing population can hold India back: Harvard scholar

 |  March 13, 2010
Get social
The notion of demographic dividend needs to be well appreciated and acknowledged in considering economic growth of a country, David Bloom , Professor of Economics and Demography, Harvard University, said at the India Today Conclave 2010 on Saturday. He was speaking on “India’s Population: Dividend or Disaster.”

Bloom said India was in the transition phase of moving from high fertility and high mortality to low fertility and low mortality. “That makes it crucial whether to make it work to our advantage or disaster,” he said, qualifying his comment with a warning that there can be no complacency.

Bloom said that two per cent growth in an economy is not as significant as the same in population , which can double a population in 35 years. He said while China and India began their own family planning programmes almost together in fifties, China could steer through well and India, with political backlash, slowed down and could surpass China in population in next 18 years.

He attributed a significant part of East Asian economic growth to the demographic transition and linked it to work age , ageing and healthy population. With low mortality rate and a baby boom still on, India has to ensure its children are healthy and educated and grow to add to the country’s economy, becoming less of a burden when they age in huge numbers. India has in the past shown tremendous improvement in life expectancy which can well reach that of developed nations in years to come, which again makes the issue of an ageing population crucial. “In India 90 per cent do not have pension and less than  10 per cent have medical insurance,” he said, referring to the crisis an ageing population can create unless India gets its policies in the social sector right.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy research, introduced Bloom and the topic. He chaired the session and concluded by thanking Bloom for drawing attention to the issues of population growth and demographic transition in India and how it could impact the econore.

Other stories

Name :
E-mail :
Enter the Code Shown: :
Disclaimer: Please note that all your comments, feedback and suggestions are published on our websites unless found libellous, inciteful, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic and abusive. We also like to specify that the comments are views of the surfers alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the India Today Group.

from the chairman

After a rocky start to the
 new millennium, the world
looks forward to the promise that
the new decade brings - resurgent
economic growth in Asia, a new
security architecture to fight terror,
a fresh wave of technological
innovations, action on climate
change and less conflict.
More than ever before,
this decade holds
great expectations
for India and the
Aroon Purie, Chairman
The India Today Group

Comments from Twitter  


'Obsession with India cripples Pak diplomacy'

Salman Rushdie has been the subject of relentless admiration in most times and sometimes incomprehensible hatred.

She said, He said

Newspapers and magazines are becoming more important in this new age, primarily for their role as filters for society.
Chris Hughes
Co-founder, Facebook and Former Coordinator,
Copyright © 2024 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today.