Updated April 17th, 2024 at 16:03 IST

India on track to accommodate 17% of world's elderly population by 2050

As the world's elderly population continues to soar, India is expected to witness a 254 per cent growth in its senior population by 2050.

Reported by: Business Desk
Global elderly population | Image:Freepik

India's elderly surge: India is poised to accommodate up to 17 per cent of the world's elderly population by 2050, according to a recent report by CBRE. The report highlights a promising outlook for India's senior care industry, propelled by a surge in the global elderly population.

As the world's elderly population continues to soar, India is expected to witness a 254 per cent growth in its senior population by 2050. Developers and investors are increasingly recognising the potential of this burgeoning market, with a focus on expanding their presence in urban centres and Tier-II cities.

Infrastructure for ageing population

India's senior living market, which targets individuals aged 60 and above, currently has a penetration rate of less than 1 per cent, contrasting sharply with countries like the UK (11 per cent), the US (over 6 per cent), and Australia (approximately 6.7 per cent). This indicates India's early stage in senior living development, with ample potential for expansion compared to more mature markets. 

Factors driving growth include the faster growth of India's senior population compared to the overall population, an increase in nuclear families (with 20 per cent of the elderly living alone or with only one spouse), and a projected rise in the old-age dependency ratio from 16 per cent in 2020 to 34 per cent by 2050. 


Elderly health conditions

Additionally, around 70 per cent of Indian seniors suffer from chronic illnesses, notably cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, vision-related issues, and hypertension. Healthcare groups are increasingly entering the segment, often through partnerships with developers, to provide assisted living services. 


Government initiatives such as the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE), the National Health Policy, and various community-based programmes aim to improve geriatric care across India.

With a rising number of seniors seeking specialised care and lifestyle options, the demand for senior living facilities has surged significantly in recent years. Currently, the senior care market in India encompasses 18,000 units, with the southern region emerging as a dominant force, contributing about 62 per cent to the overall supply in organised senior living and care segments. 


Key players' locations

Major players in the segment are concentrated in southern tier-I and II cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore, and Bangalore.


In the organised senior care sector across various cities in the country, key players are making notable strides to cater to the growing demand for quality senior living facilities. In Delhi-NCR, names include Ashiana Utsav, Antara, and Artha among others, while Hyderabad boasts establishments like Athulya Senior Care and Kites Senior Care. 

Bangalore sees a range of options, from Athulya Senior Care to Columbia Pacific Communities. Chennai's offerings include Athulya Senior Care and Vedaanta Senior Living. Coimbatore's residents have access to Athulya Senior Care and Covai Care. Jaipur features Ashiana Utsav, while Pune hosts Ashiana Utsav and Gold Age, amongst others. 


Mysuru and Kochi also have their own array of providers, such as Covai Care and Athulya Senior Care respectively. Trivandrum offers choices like Season Two and Kripalayam Old Age Home. 

However, other regions also play a role in the industry's growth, with the northern and central zones holding significant market shares. Despite this, the overall penetration rate of seniors living in India remains below 1 per cent, indicating substantial room for expansion compared to more mature markets like the UK and the US.


Expanding investment horizons

With the target population for senior living facilities set to increase from 1 million in 2024 to 2.5 million over the next decade, India's senior care industry presents opportunities for investors and developers. The sector offers diverse options tailored to the needs of older adults, including independent living communities, assisted living facilities, memory care units, and continuing care retirement communities.

As acceptance levels rise and affordability improves, the senior care segment in India is poised for sustained growth in the years to come, say experts. Structured care programmes, targeted policies, and specialised medical services will be crucial in meeting the evolving preferences of the ageing population, ensuring a bright future for India's senior care industry.


Published April 17th, 2024 at 15:59 IST