Aging rate in Kazakhstan continues to rise

Aging rate in Kazakhstan continues to rise
Photo credit: press service of the Abai region akimat

According to the Bureau of National Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the aging index in the country reached 29.5 in 2023. This is 1.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier, when the rate was 28.2, Kazinform News Agency reports with reference to the press service of the department.

The aging index is the ratio of the number of citizens over 65 years of age to the number of children aged 0 to 15 years. Thus, for every 100 children in Kazakhstan there are 29.5 elderly citizens. By comparison, five years ago the figure was 26.5, indicating a significant increase in the number of older people in the country.

Significant differences in aging rates are observed across regions. The highest aging index was noted in the North Kazakhstan region, where it is 72.9. It is followed by the East Kazakhstan region with an indicator of 71.8 and the Kostanay region - 62.1.

Among the regions with the lowest aging index, the Mangistau region is in the lead, where there are only 14.3 elderly citizens per 100 children. Also, low rates were registered in the Turkistan region (14.9) and the city of Shymkent (15.3). According to the Bureau of National Statistics, the rate of aging is higher in urban areas, where the index is 32, while in rural areas this indicator is lower - 25.8.

The growth of the aging index indicates an increasing proportion of the elderly population in Kazakhstan, which requires corresponding changes in social and economic policies. With an aging population, it is also important to consider the future of the labor market and the need to adapt workplaces to the needs of older workers.

In 2023, the UN Population Fund conducted a study at the request of the Kazakh Ministry of Labor, revealing that by 2050 the number of Kazakhs over 65 years of age would double to 3.5 million, accounting for 14% of the population. Despite the improvement in the socio-economic situation of older people, every fifth of them experiences financial difficulties, and seven percent live in conditions of poverty.

The study found that two-thirds of retirees remain physically active and involved in family life, but less than 40% of their potential for active aging is utilized. In response to this, the government of Kazakhstan approved a five-year Action Plan “Active Longevity”, aimed at improving the financial situation of the elderly, increasing their employment and supporting families. The plan includes the creation of Active Aging Centers in each region to improve the quality of life of older people and create a new culture of aging.

At an extended meeting of the Presidium of the Central Council of the Republican Public Association “Ardagerler Uyymy” last year, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nazgul Sagindykova presented data on social support for elderly Kazakhstanis and the implementation of the “Active Longevity” plan until 2025. Sagindykova noted that improving the quality of life of older people is a priority of government policy, given the significant increase in the population over 65 years of age, which will reach 3.4 million people by 2050.

The plan includes 38 activities in 9 areas, including the creation of 83 centers for active aging, which provided 649.2 thousand services to more than 85.4 thousand older people in 2023. The Vice Minister also announced measures to modernize the pension system until 2030, including increasing the minimum and maximum basic pension, and suspending the increase in the retirement age for women until 2028.

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