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


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.

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Empowered Action Group


Usual Monthly per-capita Consumer Expenditure


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

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Correspondence to Shailendra Kumar.

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Kumar, S., Kumar, K.A. Living Arrangement and Economic Dependency among the Elderly in India: a Comparative Analysis of EAG and Non EAG States. Ageing Int 44, 352–370 (2019).

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  • Elderly
  • Living arrangements
  • Economic dependency
  • EAG states
  • India