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Ageing and Poverty in Pakistan

Syed Ali () and Muhammad Kiani

No 2003:18, MIMAP Technical Paper Series from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Abstract: The paper addresses the issue of aging in the context of poverty, which is on the increase in Pakistan. In the present scenario, the elderly do not form a large segment of the population but they are expected to increase in the coming years. The absence of well-established social protection coverage has increased the vulnerability of the elderly. Being socially and economically dependent, they bear the brunt of rising poverty levels in the country. The main focus of the study is on the assessment of well-being of the elderly as measured in terms of their quality of life index with regard to living arrangements, gender, urban-rural residence, and poverty status. The study uses nationally representative MIMAP round 2 data, which is especially collected for the assessment of poverty and its impact on different segments of the society. The results of the study show that per capita food and non-food consumption is the major determinant of quality of life for the elderly. It is also noted that type of residence and gender contribute significant changes to the quality of life of the elderly. Contrary to the common belief that the elderly living in a joint family set-up have better quality of life, it is found not to be so. To improve the quality of life of the elderly, policies should be framed which minimise the gender and urban-rural differentials. The improvement in their financial status is expected to reduce the dependence of the elderly on others and to increase their self-esteem as well as their quality of life.

Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2003
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