Factors Associated with Varying Old-Age Dependency Ratios in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sara Lopus, University of California, Berkeley

Understanding the trends that contribute to regionally high old-age dependency ratios (OADRs) in Sub-Saharan African countries could provide the information necessary to predict future growth in OADRs and to inform policy decisions relating to elder-care. OADRs in Sub-Saharan Africa range from 4.5% in Zambia and Uganda to rates of above 8% in South Africa and Lesotho. If a country’s OADR is higher than those of its neighbors due to trends that deplete the number of working-aged persons (high rates of HIV mortality, for example), the implications for household compositions and elder care may be very different than if the trend is driven by low fertility rates. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis of national data from 19 SSA Sub-Saharan African countries, OADR generally increases with HIV prevalence (R^2=0.3242, p=0.0109), but the trend is weaker than the negative relationship between OADR and TFR (R^2=0.5725, p=1.77x10^-4).

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 6