Regional Variation and Determinants of Well-being of the Elderly in India

Main Article Content

Bhaswati Das Rituparna Sengupta Kalosona Paul


The paper assessed the level of well-being in six states in India, namely Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Odisha, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The index of well-being was developed based on the Stanford Centre on Longevity (SCL) Index of well-being, Global ageing and Monitoring Project, 2011 with certain modifications. Indices for physical, social and emotional well-being are constructed using data from the Building a Knowledge Base on Population Ageing in India (BKPAI), Sample Registration System, Census of India and National Crime Records Bureau. The indices were thereafter combined to form the well-being index. Marital status, educational level, employment status, annual income, health status and regional factors emerged as strong determinants of elderly well-being through a multinomial logistic regression. The states varied in rank in the components of well-being revealing paradoxes. The differentials in different domains need to be emphasized in the state specific policy for the aged.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Das, B., Sengupta, R., & Paul, K. (2018). Regional Variation and Determinants of Well-being of the Elderly in India. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 26(3), 219-234. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Bhaswati Das, Centre for the Study of Regional DevelopmentJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew Delhi 110067India

Centre for the Study of Regional Development

School of Social Sciences

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi 110067


Rituparna Sengupta, Research Scholar CSRD, School of Social Science Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi-110067

Rituparna Sengupta is a research scholar in CSRD, School of Social Science Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi-110067.

Kalosona Paul, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai-400088

Kalosona Paul is a Research Scholar in School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai-400088


Adhikari, H. (2018). Rural ageing in India: Economy and relationship in post-retirement life. Indian Journal of Gerontology, 32(2), 121–137.
Ashok, B. T. & Ali, R. (2003). Aging research in India. Experimental Gerontology, 38(6), 597-603.
BKPAI. (2012). Report on the status of elderly in selected states of India, 2011. Delhi: United Nations Population Fund.
Bourke, L. & Geldens, P. M. (2007). Subjective well-being and its meaning for young people in a rural Australian center. Social Indicators Research, 82(1), 165-187.
Charles, S. T. & Carstensen, L. L. (2010). Social and emotional aging. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 383-409.
Coombs, R. H. (1991). Marital status and personal well-being: A literature review. Family Relations, 40(1), 97-102.
Das, B. (2017). Condition of the aged in national capital territory of Delhi. In S. S. Acharya, S. Sen, M. Punia & S. Reddy (Eds.). Marginalization in globalizing Delhi: Issues of land, livelihoods and health (pp. 387-401). New Delhi: Springer.
Das, D. N. & Bhusan, S. (2015). Quality of living among the elderly in slums of Kolkata. Indian Journal of Regional Science, 47(1), 81-94.
Fillenbaum, G. G. (1984). The well-being of the elderly: Approaches to multidimensional assessment. Geneva: World Health Organization. WHO Offset Publication No. 84.
Gardner, B. L. (2005). Causes of rural economic development. Agricultural Economics, 32(s1), 21-41.
Government of Tamil Nadu. (2003). Tamil Nadu human development report. New Delhi: The Government of Tamil Nadu and Social Science Press.
Goyal, R. S. (2000). Implications of demographic and socioeconomic transition for elderly: An illustration from India. International Journal of Anthropology, 15(1-2), 19-31.
Gulati, L. & Rajan, S. I. (1999). The added years: Elderly in India and Kerala. Economic and Political Weekly, WS46-WS51.
Halleröd, B. & Seldén, D. (2013). The multi-dimensional characteristics of wellbeing: How different aspects of wellbeing interact and do not interact with each other. Social Indicators Research, 113(3), 807-825.
Halliburton, M. (1998). Suicide: A paradox of development in Kerala. Economic and Political Weekly, 2341-2345.
Havens, B., Hall, M., Sylvestre, G. & Jivan, T. (2004). Social isolation and loneliness: Differences between older rural and urban Manitobans. Canadian Journal on Aging/la Revue Canadienne du Vieillissement, 23(2), 129-140.
Hermalin, A. I. (Ed.). (2002). The well-being of the elderly in Asia: A four-country comparative study. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Hermalin, A. I., Beth O. M., & Tesfai, R. (2007). Future characteristics of the elderly in developing countries and their implications for policy. Asian Population Studies, 3(1), 5-36.
Hope, E. C. (1943). Agriculture's share of the national income. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science/Revue Canadienne de Economiques et Science Politique, 9(3), 384-393.
James, K. S. (1994). Indian elderly: Asset or liability. Economic and Political Weekly, 2335-2339.
Karkal, M. (1999). Ageing and women in India. Economic and Political Weekly, WS54-WS56.
Kaulagekar, A. (2007). Ageing and social support: A study of low-income urban elderly in Pune. Indian Anthropologist, 45-53.
Lehmann, S.W., Black, B. S., Shore, A., Kasper, J. & Rabins, P. V. (2010). Living alone with dementia: Lack of awareness adds to functional and cognitive vulnerabilities. International Psychogeriatrics, 22(5), 778-784.
Mäkelä, P., Valkonen, T. & Martelin, T. (1997). Contribution of deaths related to alcohol use to socioeconomic variation in mortality: Register based follow up study. British Medical Journal, 315(7102), 211-216.
Martin, L. G. (1990). The status of South Asia's growing elderly population. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 5(2), 93-117.
Narayanamoorthy, A. (2006). State of India's farmers. Economic and Political Weekly, 471-473.
Paul, K. & Singh, J. (2017). Emerging trends and patterns of self-reported morbidity in India: Evidence from three rounds of national sample survey. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 36(1), 32.
Rajan, S. I. (2008). Implications of population aging with special focus on social protection for elderly persons in South Asia. Indian Journal of Human Development, 2(1), 203-222.
Rajan, S. I. & Kumar, S. (2003). Living arrangements among Indian elderly: New evidence from national family health survey. Economic and Political Weekly, 75-80.
Rajan, S. I., Mishra, U. S. & Sarma, P. S. (2001). Health concerns among India's elderly. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 53(3), 181-194.
RGI. (2006). Population projections for India and states, 2001-2026. New Delhi: Office of the Registrar General of India.
RGI. (2011a). Sample Registration System Based Abridged Life Tables. New Delhi, India.
RGI. (2011b). Census of India, 2011: India, provisional population totals. New Delhi: Office of the Registrar General of India.
Root, L. S. & Tropman, J. E. (1984). Income sources of the elderly. Social Security Review, 58(September), 384-403.
Retherford, R. D., & Choe, M. K. (2011). Statistical models for causal analysis. John Wiley & Sons.
Saha, S., & Paul, K. (2017). Evolving patterns of child sex ratio in India. Social Change, 47(2), 243-263.
Sasikumar, S. K., & Hussain, Z. (2008). Managing international labor migration from India: Policies and perspectives. ILO Asia-Pacific Working Paper Series, International Labor Organization, October.
Shah, A.M, (1999). Changes in the family and the elderly. Economic and Political Weekly, 34(20), 1179-1182.
Soman, C. R., Safraj, S., Kutty, V. R., Vijayakumar, K., & Ajayan, K. (2009). Suicide in South India: A community-based study in Kerala. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(4), 261.
Srivastava, V. (2010). Women aging. New Delhi: Rawat Publications.
Tarling, R. (2008). Statistical modelling for social researchers: Principles and practice. Routledge Publications.
United Nations. (2002). World population ageing 1950-2050. New York: United Nations.
Veenhoven, R. (2000). Well-being in the welfare state: Level not higher, distribution not more equitable. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 2(1), 91-125.
Visaria, L. (2008). Improving the child sex ratio: Role of policy and advocacy. Economic and Political Weekly, 34-37.
White S. C. (2010). Analysing well-being: A framework for development practice. Development in Practice, 20(2), 158-172.
Wood, R. G., Avellar, S. & Goesling, B. (2009). The Effects of marriage on health: A synthesis of recent research evidence. Nova Science Publishers.
Zaidi, M. A. (2008). Well-being of older people in ageing societies. Farnham, GB: Ashgate.