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Kazakhstan’s population ageing to almost double in 30 years’ time

5 May, 2021 KAZAKHSTAN - According to demographic projections made in the Population Situation Analysis, Kazakhstan is currently in a relatively early  stage of population ageing. By 2050 the number of people aged 65 and over will almost double compared to  2019 (from 1.4 to 3.4 million people), while their share over the total population will increase from 7.5% in 2019 to more than 14% in 2050. There is a gender asymmetry in the population of older people, which is largely determined by the difference between the life expectancy of women and men, which is 9.9 years and is almost 2 times higher than in developed countries. This means that the number of women aged 60 years and older is 1.6 times higher than the number of men of the same age. In the age group of 65 years and older it is up to 1.8 times, and in the retirement age, the number of women are 2.7 times more than men.

During 2020 UNFPA provided support to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in developing an National Action Plan to Improve the Situation of Older People in Kazakhstan "Active Longevity" until 2025. To support this Action Plan and help further monitor its implementation, the Ministry and UNFPA conducted a comprehensive national sociological quantitative and qualitative survey to assess the socio-economic status and needs of older persons (also in light of Covid-19). This survey was also meant to review the status of older people compared to findings from a similar survey conducted in 2008. The information gathered through the survey (interviews of 2,000 respondents aged 55 and older and 20 experts’ interviews from State and CSOs’ representatives) was also used to calculate the Active Longevity index (ALI) for the first time in Kazakhstan. UNFPA also reviewed successful international policies and practices on decent, healthy and active longevity which could be adapted to Kazakhstan.

Today’s round-table discussion led by the National Commission on Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan focused on the results of the latest survey. The key findings are that although the financial situation of older people improved compared to 2008, several challenges remain. For example, almost every 5th older Kazakhstani citizen is in a difficult financial situation, while the proportion of respondents saying that medical services should be more affordable did grow from 35% in 2008 to 48% in 2020. While 45% of older people in 2008 had said that there was violence against older people in the society, in 2020 this percentage increased to 61%.

“Population ageing affects all aspects of human and social living, including economic growth, savings, investment, consumption, the labor market, pensions, and intergenerational transfer, - said Gaziza Moldakulova, UNFPA Programme Officer for Gender and Population and Development and one of the authors of this work. - When provided with the right opportunities, older women and men present an invaluable contribution to their families, work settings and societies in general.”

The meeting concluded with several actionable recommendations for the different participants and other Ministry representatives including on what needed to be integrated into relevant national policies, programmes and plans and on the type of advocacy and communication required to promote the role that older persons can and should play as an invaluable resource for their families and society as a whole.

For more information, please contact Dina Teltayeva via email teltayeva@unfpa.org or tel.: 8701 7654010.