Living Arrangement: How Does It Relate to the Health of the Elderly in India?

Mitali Sen, University of Maryland
James Noon, University of Maryland

Approaching 80 million in number, India has the second largest population of elderly people after China. The living arrangement of the elderly is seen as a parameter of great importance in understanding their plight in developing countries because of the lack of public institutions and social security nets. Using the India Human Development Survey–2005 (IHDS), a 40,000 household nationwide multi-topic dataset collected by the University of Maryland in collaboration with National Council of Applied Economic Research, we examine the association between living arrangements and the health status of 18,000 individuals who are age 60 and above. Health status is measured using various measures including the incidence of short term morbidity, whether treatment is sought and expenditure incurred. Preliminary results indicate that living arrangements are significantly associated with the incidence of short term morbidity, after controlling for various socio-economic and regional indicators. This is less true of the other measures.

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Presented in Poster Session 6