Living Arrangement and Economic Dependency among the Elderly in India: a Comparative Analysis of EAG and Non EAG States

  • Shailendra KumarEmail author
  • K. Anil Kumar


An increase proportion of elderly means additional national responsibility to meet the emerging challenges to ensure well-being. Family, kinship, and community which were the strong sources of social support and care for the elderly in India has become weaker in recent times. Eight of India’s states are considered to be relatively socioeconomically backward, and are referred to as the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states, while rest of the states are demographically more advanced and many have achieved replacement level of fertility. The purpose of this paper is to compare the pattern of living arrangements and economic dependency among elderly in EAG and non-EAG states of India. Data from the National Sample Survey 71st round was used for analysis (N = 27,245). Results suggest that majority of the elderly co-resided both in EAG and non-EAG states. The major difference in living alone between EAG and non- EAG states is found according to religion, consumer expenditure quintile, and perceived health. Overall, 72% elderly are economically dependent on others. The differences between EAG and non-EAG states in economic dependency are considerable according to marital status, education, religion, and consumer expenditure quintile. Multivariate analysis revealed that the chances of living alone and economic dependency are higher in non-EAG states than EAG states. Number of surviving children, education, and consumer expenditure quintile are the significant predictors of living alone, while age, gender, and education significantly influence economic dependency. The findings call for making appropriate changes in policies and programmes to ensure social security and health of the elderly.


Elderly Living arrangements Economic dependency EAG states India 



Empowered Action Group


Usual Monthly per-capita Consumer Expenditure



The authors would like to acknowledge the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) for making the raw data openly available online.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

The study used the data set that is available online in the public domain; hence, there was no need to seek ethical consent.

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health Systems StudiesTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

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