India Data

Compilation of global and domestic data sources (both public and private) used to understand ageing demographics and longevity trends in India. This is not a complete list, and will continue to be updated.

Public Sources

India Census

India has been conducting a decadal census from 1881 onwards, through the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, under the Home Ministry. The Directors of Census operations co-ordinate the work of census taking in the respective States/Union Territories. The last decennial population Census of India was conducted during 9th–28th February 2011 with a revisional round during 1st -5th March, 2011. The next Census was due in 2021 but the same has been postponed. The census follows the 100% enumeration method and hence considered to provide the closest to reality input from the ground across multiple indicators.

The Census Operations in India have been carried out in two phases: – i) Houselisting and Housing Census and ii) Population Enumeration. During Houselisting and Housing Census, all buildings, Census Houses and Households are identified and systematically listed in the relevant schedules. It provides comprehensive data on the conditions of human settlements, housing deficit and consequently the housing requirements to be taken care of in the formulation of housing policies. This will also provide a wide range of data/information on amenities and assets available to the Households. This would also provide the base for Population Enumeration by giving a more realistic idea of the population size of the Houselisting blocks, thereby ensuring the more practical carving of the blocks for Population Enumeration.

Past Census Tables

National Sample Survey (NSS)

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was set up in 1950, with the idea of having a permanent survey organization to collect data on various facets of the economy. In order to assist in socio-economic planning and policy making, NSSO conducts nationwide sample surveys known as National Sample Survey (NSS). In these large scale surveys data is primarily collected through nation-wide household surveys on various socio-economic subjects, Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), etc.

NSSO Report

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

The National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017. The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold: (a) To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS), and, (b) to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual Status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually. Quarterly bulletins and other reports are available in the MoSPI website.

All Reports | PLFS Annual Bulletin (Jul 2020-Jun 2021) | Migration in India (Jul 2020-Jun 2021)

National Family Health Survey (NFHS) survey

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services. Five rounds of survey have been held since 1992-93.

The 2019-20 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the fifth in the NFHS series, provides information on population, health, and nutrition for India and each state and union territory. Like NFHS-4, NFHS-5 also provides district-level estimates for many important indicators. Four survey questionnaires – household, woman’s, man’s, and biomarker – were used to collect information in 19 languages using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). All women age 15-49 and men age 15-54 in the selected sample households were eligible for interviewing. The total sample size of approximately 610,000 households for India was based on the size needed to produce reliable indicator estimates for each of the 701 districts (as of March 2017). 

NFHS website | NFHS-5 India Report, March 2022

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)

EPFO, under the Ministry of Labour & Employment, is one of the world’s largest social security organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken. At present it maintains 24.77 crore accounts (Annual Report 2019-20) pertaining to its members. The Act and Schemes framed under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 are administered by a tri-partite Board known as the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund, consisting of representatives of Government (Both Central and State), Employers, and Employees.

The Central Board of Trustees administers a contributory provident fund, pension scheme and an insurance scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India. The Board is assisted by the Employees’ PF Organization (EPFO), consisting of offices at 138 locations across the country. 

EPFO Dashboard | Monthly Payroll Estimates

Provident Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA)

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority is the regulatory body under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance, Government of India for overall supervision and regulation of pension in India.

Financial Security for India’s Elderly (with CRISIL)

National Pension System Trust (NPST)

National Pension System Trust (NPST) was established by PFRDA as per the provisions of the Indian Trusts Act of 1882 for taking care of the assets and funds under the NPS in the best interest of the subscribers. The powers, functions and duties of NPS Trust are laid down under the PFRDA (National Pension System Trust) Regulations 2015, besides the provisions of the Trust deed dated 27.02.2008.

The National Pension Scheme (NPS) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) are the primary schemes managed by the NPST.

NPS and APY – AUM and Subscribers

Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)

Although adult health and ageing is increasingly attracting a substantial amount of attention, no comprehensive and internationally comparable survey data currently available in India covers the entire range of topics necessary for understanding the economic, social, psychological, and health aspects of adults and the aging process. The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) is designed to fill this gap, and managed by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai.

LASI is envisioned to be conducted every 3 years for the next 25 years. It is well-positioned to evaluate the effect of changing policies on the behavioural outcomes in India. The LASI Wave 1 is a nationally representative survey of 73,396 older adults age 45 and above across all states and union territories of India. The data collection activities for the wave 1 was carried between April 2017 to December 2018 (Sikkim state data collection was carried out in 2020-21).

LASI homepage | Wave 1 dataset

Economic Survey Report (2019-20), Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance, in Chapter 7 of the Economic Survey of India (2019-20) titled India’s Demography at 2040: Planning Public Good Provision for the 21st Century highlights some key trends related to ageing and longevity. In particular, it addresses the disparity in population growth across various states. India is set to witness a sharp slowdown in population growth in the next two decades. Although the country as a whole will enjoy the “demographic dividend” phase, some states will start transitioning to an ageing society by the 2030s. A surprizing fact is that population in the 0-19 age bracket has already peaked due to sharp declines in total fertility rates (TFR) across the country. The national TFR is expected to be below replacement rate by 2021.

Chapter 7 of (2019-20) Report | Economic Survey homepage

National Strategy on Financial Education (NSFE), RBI, Mar 2021

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s NSFE document intends to support the vision of the Government of India and financial sector regulators by empowering various sections of the population to develop adequate knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviour which are needed to manage their money better and plan for their future. The strategy recommends adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve financial well-being of all Indians.

National Strategy on Financial Education (2020-2025)

National Mental Health Survey, NIMHANS

The National Mental Health Survey, undertaken by NIMHANS, helps quantify the burden of those suffering from mental, select neurological and substance use problems. NMHS has also undertaken the onerous task of identifying the baseline information for subsequent development of mental health systems across the states. The results from the NMHS point to the huge burden of mental health problems: while, nearly 150 million Indians need mental health care services, less than 30 million are seeking care; the mental health systems assessment indicate not just a lack of public health strategy but also several under-performing components. NMHS by providing the much needed scientific rigour to plan, develop and implement better mental health care services in India in the new millennium, has hence termed its report as “Prevalence, Patterns and Outcomes” and “Mental Health Systems”.

NMHS Homepage | NMHS Results

Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle, Niti Aayog, Oct 2021

The NITI Aayog serves as the apex public policy think tank of the Government of India, and the nodal agency tasked with catalyzing economic development, and fostering cooperative federalism through the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach. Expansion of health insurance / assurance coverage is a necessary step, and a pathway in India’s effort to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). At least 30% of the population, or 40 crore individuals – called the missing middle in this report – are devoid of any financial protection for health. This report outlines broad contours of a voluntary and contributory product, challenges in covering this group, and the role of Government in enhancing health insurance coverage for general population.

Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle Report

Private Sources

Mercer Global Pension Index, 2022

Mercers’ global pension index for 2022 evaluated 44 pension systems on three sub indices – adequacy, sustainability and integrity. With a score of 44.4 on 100, India was indexed as “D”, and scored the lowest in the IMETA (India, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa) region. The report made the following recommendations in improving the index score:
• Introducing a minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals
• Increasing coverage of pension arrangements for the unorganized working class
• Introducing a minimum access age so it is clear that benefits are preserved for retirement purposes
• Improving the regulatory requirements for the private pension system

Mercer Global Pension Index Homepage |

Global Burden of Disease Report, Lancet, 2019

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) provides a tool to quantify health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems can be improved and disparities can be eliminated.

Collected and analyzed by a consortium of more than 7,000 researchers in more than 156 countries and territories, the data capture premature death and disability from more than 350 diseases and injuries in 195 countries, by age and sex, from 1990 to the present, allowing comparisons over time, across age groups, and among populations. The flexible design of the GBD machinery allows for regular updates as new data and epidemiological studies are made available. In that way, the tools can be used at the global, national, and local levels to understand health trends over time, just like gross domestic product data are used to monitor a country’s economic activity.

Policymakers in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and other countries worldwide are collaborating with GBD researchers to adopt this approach for measuring their population’s health and how it varies by different regions, socioeconomic status, or ethnic groups in their country.

GBD, 2019 – India Profile | GBD Home

HelpAge India Research Reports

HelpAge India is recognised as a one-stop destination for information on the ageing-scenario in India. It earns this reputation by releasing a number of publications and reports pertaining to this area, every year. HelpAge India has a full-fledged Policy Research and Development department which studies and collates information on this subject.

Research Reports

Agewell Foundation Studies

Agewell Foundation attempts to initiate extensive and comprehensive studies on the older persons, so that emerging needs, problems and rights of the older persons could be identified, understood & analysed in a completely changed socio-economic scenario, drawing a road map for the empowerment of older persons. Recognizing the work being done by Agewell Foundation ECOSOC has granted Special Consultative Status to Agewell Foundation at United Nations since 2011. It is associated with Department of Public Information, United Nations (UN-DPI-NGO). Agewell has also been member of various Working Groups and Steering Committees on Social Sector for with the Government of India since 2002. Some of Agewell’s studies reports have already been recognized by the United Nations as its background documents.

Studies Page

Report on Index of Quality of Life of Elderly in India, Aug 2021

The Index on Quality of Life for Elderly 2021 report by Institute of Competitiveness was submitted to the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). The report presents itself as the first step in establishing a complete understanding of the elderly population around India’s States and Union territories. It observes 45 different indicators across four key domains identified as being of utmost importance for older people, namely Financial Well-being, Social Well-being, Health System, and Income Security. The domain-wise assessment can then help the nation identify areas of progress and areas that need attention, so that policies can be formulated accordingly. Moreover, the distinction created between Aged States (having more than five million Elderly) and Relatively Aged States (having less than five million elderly) establishes a fair comparison among states. Whereas Northeast States and Union Territories are two separate categories compared to other states, considering their geography and share of the elderly population.

Full Report

Global Parents Survey 2018, Varkey Foundation

According to the Global Parents Survey by the Varkey Foundation, Indian parents spend the most time on the homework of their children in the world. 62% of Indian parents spend on an average 12 hours on their children’s homework, almost 2.5 times over the global average for this cohort.

Full Report

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