An Aging Population, July 2007
Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with its millions of people crammed into a delta of rivers that empty into the Bay of Bengal. The major employer is agriculture, but it is unable to meet the demand for jobs. Many young Bangladeshis seek work abroad which means elderly people are abandoned to look after themselves as their children head overseas..
Bangladesh has the third highest number of poor older people in the world. The majority live in extreme poverty and are forced to carry on working well into their old age in order to survive; often lacking access to healthcare and other basic resources like shelter, food and clean water. Many are also victims of domestic violence; others are forced out of their homes by their children, and have little recourse for justice; yet others suffer from malnutrition. At present it is estimated that the number of people over the age of 60 will have doubled by the year 2015. The Government is therefore being forced to tackle the issue of its rapidly aging population through implementing a program of pensions, one of the first countries in the world to do so.