Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.


Ageing in Nepal

Consistent with the pattern observed in other countries, Nepal’s population is ageing as fertility and mortality levels decline. During the last three decades, the total fertility rate has declined by one third, from around 6 children per woman in the 1970s (United Nations, 2001) to around 4 at the turn of the century (Ministry of Health, 2002). For the corresponding period, the life expectancy at birth has increased by nearly 20 years to reach about 60 years (United Nations, 2001). The decline in fertility and mortality has resulted in an increase, albeit modest, in the share of the population aged 60 years and over from about 6 per cent of the total population in the 1970s (United Nations, 2001) to about 7 per cent in 2001 (2001 Population Census). The older population grew faster (2.73 per cent) than the national population (2.07 per cent) during the last two decades (1981-2001). The share of the older population in the total population is expected to grow even further with the accelerated decline in fertility and mortality occurring in the twenty-first century. The percentage of the overall population aged 60 and over will increase nearly twofold by mid-century with fertility reaching replacement level and life expectancy at birth approaching 75, according to the United Nations medium variant projections (United Nations, 2001).


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