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Age Structure/Composition

27-NOV-2015 17:24

    Age structure of the population of a country indicates the extent, to which the population of that country is productive from the economic point of view. Population in the age group of 15-60 years is known as working population. Population in the age group of 0-14 years and above 60 years is known as non-working/dependent population. Higher proportion of working population is beneficial for the economic development of the country. In India, percentage of population in the age group of 0-14 years is still high. In India, percentage of population above 60 years is increasing. That indicates higher life expectancy and reduction in death rate.

    Demographic Gap

    It is the difference between the birth rate and death rate of the population of a country. In demographic transition, the demographic gap is small during the initial and final stages, while it becomes large during the middle stages.

    Demographic Dividend

    It refers to an opportunity before a country with a high share of population between the ages of 15 and 64, to boost economic growth. This stage is reached when the country experiences lower fertility rates, which means that the dependent population below the age of 15 years is low.  The population above 64 years of age is also low due to the lower life expectancies of the older generations. On the other hand, the population between 15-64 is high, due to the higher birth rates in the previous generation. This reduces the dependency ratio (share of population not engaged in productive employment and dependent on others) and thus, boosts the economic growth.

    A larger working population also means that the domestic savings rate is high (since the dependent population does not increase savings, but reduces them) and thus, investment and economic growth is higher. Many East Asian countries were able to achieve high economic growth rates by utilising their demographic dividend. Demographic dividend can only be useful, if it is accompanied by supportive national policies, which improve literacy, provide employment, health care etc. High share of young population in a country can also have negative consequences like social unrest, crime and high divorce rates etc.

    Population Group of Year





















    65 and above







    Demographic Dividend: India

    Numbers show the share of population as a percentage of total population.

    • Demographic dividend helps economic growth in three ways
    • Working population has a higher saving rate, which means higher investment and growth.
    • Low fertility means females get freedom to work (lesser burden of taking care of children), which boosts economic production. It also, promotes gender equality.
    • With lesser children, people spend more on their health, leading to improvement in productivity.

    Population Pyramid

    Population pyramid is a graphical illustration of the different age groups in a population along with the male and female population. The horizontal axis represents the absolute numbers of population, with one side representing the male population and the other side representing the female population.  The vertical axis is divided into equal divisions representing different age groups such that it encompasses the entire population of the country/region.

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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